It is since my first arrival in China as a stable resident that I receive a lot of annoying phone calls from “stock brokers” that try to sell me stocks of this and that company (so far I have been proposed IT, Blackberry software suppliers, gold mines, chemicals…).
The thing usually works like this :
a woman with a strong filipino accent calls, introduces herself with a Japanese or an English name, tells me she is calling either from Korea or japan and asks for confirmation of my address and email, which she already has somehow (who the fsck gave u?).
Then she tells me that their company is providing “investment consultancy” and says that they will send me an informative coupon quickly. By this time I usually have already told her a couple of times that I am not interested in buying any stock or in any financial operation. She then always tells me that the pamphlet they are going to send me is just informative and a senior stock broker will call me in the following days.
After a few days, as promised some guy with a very, very, very strong British accent calls me and start proposing me to invest sums varying from 20.000 to 40.000$/EUR (20 to 40k of MY MONEY !) in the stocks of some company nobody has ever heard about stating that they had internal sources informing that this company is going to sign a huge deal in the next few days.
I normally interrupt them politely (well, I try to…) when they ask me to check the stock value of the company they try to sell me on yahoo finance or Bloomberg. I usually tell them I don’t really care about stocks and I would not change my opinion.
So far only one of them has given up bothering me after I mentioned this, the others keep on insisting that I would earn a lot of money (sometimes several times the sum I have invested), and insisting, insisting, insisting.
The most commonly used way to insist are (in ascending order from the most stupid to the one that pisses me off the most) :
- this is a very good deal, otherwise I would not propose it to you ! (of course it is a good deal…for you)
- this is one-in-a-lifetime occasion (sure, since you are not going to contact me later and just run away with the money !)
- I do understand you might be reluctant to do business with somebody on the phone (wow ! You do understand that ? And you still keep on trying on convincing me to do it ?)
- at the end, making money is the only reason we wake up everyday for, right ? (wrong. I also wake up when I need to pee….)
- Of course there is no obligation, we are telling you on a purely informative basis..(…and you are insisting on a purely pissing-me-off purpose too ?)
- I can hear you are the conservative kind of person, right ?(no, I am the “don’t try to fool me like I am a dumbass” kind of person…)
- I believe this investment would make you one of my long term customers (I believe you are joking…)
- you have to understand this, sir. I am payed on a profit basis, so your risk would be my risk as well (yeah, sure…but the money is mine only, not yours !!)
- I believe you know what are the advantages for expatriates investing in stocks abroad (yes: none at the moment. At least in the amount you are proposing me and with the timing you propose me (a week or month long investment ? Please…) But I do know something : that it would be harder to prosecute YOU for scamming if you are fooling people living in a country that is not the same you are living~!)
- (putting a strong accent in the phrase, like he wants to underline it) come on sir, do you see what we can see ? (oh, wtf, wtf WTF !!!)
The last line is particularly annoying. I mean, really ? “Do you see what we can see” ? Like I would be such a moron not to jump instantly in your great shiny golden richness-promising LIE ? Oh, please.
First : most of those scammers are quite stupid, to me. They introduce themselves so proudly saying that they work for this or that investment company. A quick look at the unauthorised firms doing this kind of business list published by the FSA (U.K. Financial services authority) is enough for me to find out that 100% of the companies that want to sell me stocks are long time guests of this list (Shaw Capital Management – Korea, Fisher Capital, Blackstone Securities….I am talking to you !)
Second : honestly….do you really think that I would give away 20 to 40k EURO to somebody who just called me by the phone ??
Third : from what I see here these scams are quite common with foreigners living in Asia… any proof you can provide you are not scamming me ? (out of curiosity : why so many of you scammers are British ?)
Yet, as far as I see a lot of people get scammed this way.
It is hard for me to understand why : all it took to me to avoid this so far (and it has been 5 years already!) is some common sense, a bit of prudence, and a quick look at the Internet. (yeah…my natural aversion towards financial markets helped a lot in this..)
So my conclusion is : if these people still can operate means that somebody actually gave them their money –> if somebody gave them their money means that they didn’t even try enough to get clear info on what they were investing in and who they were giving their money to –> since the sums these “brokers” ask for are quite large it means they target rather wealthy people –> wealthy people usually don’t have lot of problem accessing internet –> still they don’t research info on what they are investing on and who is going to get their money –> what do those people use internet for ?
Oh, no. You don’t need to answer that, I already know it : porn and videogames.
Well, it’s Darwinian : the less stupid survives.