Last Updated : Jul 09, 2012 03:06 PM IST | Source:

Are you the next 'bakra' of a con artist?

Beware! There may be many charlatans around you. And they are smart…very smart indeed.

Sanjay Matai

Beware! There may be many charlatans around you. And they are smart…very smart indeed. They are masters in their ‘art’. They are very skillful in building trust. They seem genuine. They are glib talkers and look very concerned about your financial well being. And they spread their tentacles slowly - ready to pounce upon you at your weak moment.

Are you likely to be their next victim? Yes, if…

Yes, if you have get-rich-quick mentality…

If you are looking for that extra percentage or two from your deposits without verifying the credentials; if you are watching TV for that ten-bagger tip; if you have been tempted to reply to the many lottery emails/SMSs that you would have received; if your greed has over-powered your reason — then you are likely to be conned…sooner or later. Why have swindlers been repeatedly successful throughout the human history? Human Greed, of course!

Unfortunately, there are no short-cuts to double your money. And, by the way, even if such a gold-mine does exist…NO ONE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT IT. Why should they? Won’t they rather make the millions and crores for themselves and their families?

Yes, if you have fear of numbers…

Does talking about money make you nervous? Do you have phobia for numbers? Do you consider finance to be as difficult as ‘God particle’? Do all the sales talks of your bankers, agents, brokers sound Greek and Latin to you? If yes, you are a good candidate to be swindled by some smart operator.

Trust me…finance is so simple that even a child can understand it. It is definitely simpler than trigonometry and calculus; chemical reactions, equations and formulas; Newton’s and Einstein’s laws; and all the commerce, history, geography, etc. you would have studied in school.

Yes, if you are too lazy to do the paperwork…

Are you one of the persons who just signs where your banker or agent tells you to, leaving him the “dirty” job of filling up the details in any form? Are you one of the persons who doesn’t bother to even read the form carefully? Well…don’t be surprised if you have to pay for this negligence.

If you accept papers at face value; if you don’t cross check every document given to you; if you leave any blanks in a form; I am not sure why anyone won’t be tempted to take you for a ride.

Yes, if you are too trustworthy…

Once upon a time when a man gave his word, he kept it at all costs…even at the cost of his life.

This certainly is not true today. So if you believe in word-of-mouth promises, you are open to risk of being duped. Given that our courts are filled with innumerable cases, shows that people are not averse to even going back on written words. So you can well imagine the fate of verbal assurances or commitments.

Yes, if you cave in under high pressure…

Did you agree to invest because you were told that the particular scheme will close in a day or two? Did you book a flat because you were told that prices will increase soon? Was a sense of urgency created and you fell for it?

This is another trick used by fraudsters…create an emergency so that you don’t get enough time to cross-check and verify the details.

If you do not wish to be the NEXT VICTIM of some scam, the bottom line is simple - don’t think it can’t happen to you - and then take appropriate precautions to protect yourself from becoming the next bakra.

(By the way, the fraudsters may not always be some strangers. People have been swindled by their acquaintances too.)

Sanjay Matai is a personal finance advisor (, author and online financial trainer.

First Published on Jul 9, 2012 02:45 pm
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