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How to Lose Your Money the “Quick and Easy Way”

By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Once again people learned the age old adage that states that “if it’s too good to be true then it probably is” as Winners Circle filed for Chapter 11, leaving thousands of investors holding a huge bag filled with lots of shattered dreams, agony and despair.

It seems like people will never learn their lesson and continue to fall for any scheme that offers quick and easy money, no matter how ridiculous, preposterous and absurd it sounds. The returns they promise should be a dead giveaway that it is nothing but a fraud. If there was any truth to them, we should close up every legitimate business and invest all our money exclusively in them! Only a Chelmite would give them any credence. The odds of making a quick buck by investing in these lucrative money offers are about as great as discovering oil in your backyard or as a snow storm in Elat!

As one plan goes bankrupt, the con artists are already advertising the next swindle. The need and greed for money is so great that all reason goes out the window. It’s amazing how otherwise smart people can be so dumb.  As soon as they see a few people that do make some money, they immediately jump on the bandwagon. Little do they realize that they are only the cheese to bait the mice.

Yet few people seem to care about what’s happening in the community, and the con artists continue with their swindles without the slightest inhibition or shame. Every few months another Ponzi scam spreads thorough our community without anyone becoming any wiser.
I find it quite appalling that some newspapers dare carry these ads even though it’s clearly against the law. While I fully realize that newspapers can’t always be held responsible to check out and investigate the legitimacy of every ad that appears in their pages, simple morals and ethics demand that they refuse to accept ads that are blatantly misleading, fraudulent and are designed to tempt the “blind” to lose their money.

By running such  ads  in their paper, they are lending credibility and dignity to these schemes. In effect, they may also be considered agents, accessories or accomplices in helping promote these swindles. The law clearly forbids newspapers from accepting false or deceptive advertisements.

While it is certainly every individual’s responsibility to check out the authenticity of every ad, by accepting these ads the publishers are aiding in the spread of these schemes to the unwary public, causing the ignorant and naive  to lose their hard-earned money,

It is true that people who respond to get-rich schemes are letting greed get the better of their judgment, but shouldn’t newspapers have a responsibility to protect the gullible? The papers lecture us in their editorials and columns, shouldn’t they protect their readers from financial loss? Those who lost money on account of them ought express their strong protest (respectfully please!) at the editorial boards’ policy, and demand that these unacceptable practices stop. While I’m all for freedom of expression, one can’t shout fire in a crowded theater.
More: Newspapers actually have a responsibility to write articles that explain and warn the public not to invest their money in false promises. A newspaper that can be bought off by the mighty American dollar is not worthy of the public’s trust! Honesty  must be their policy!

It’s time we take off our green($) tinted glasses and realize that there is no quick and easy way to riches. You’re probably better off investing in a lottery ticket. The chances of winning are much higher than investing them in any of these money swindles.

Most people still remember as “JewelWay” spread through our community with devastating fury outfoxing thousands of their hard earned money until it was declared illegal by the F.T.C. and went bankrupt, leaving people with worthless jewelry, heartaches and ever increasing debts. All prior warnings fell on deaf ears. How many more bankruptcies are necessary before we learn our lesson?

1 comment:

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