We have been asked why conmen can get away with running a Ponzi/Fraud/Scam for so long? In studying numerous previous Ponzis/Frauds/Scams we have discovered they use all or the majority of these tactics. If you have been a victim of such an illegal program, you will recognize almost all of them:

  • Sell people hope. People live on hope, and their hopes and dreams must be fed through spin and lies. In any situation, if possible, accentuate the positive.
  • Make excuses as long as you can. Try to have your excuses based on at least one truthful fact even if the fact is unrelated to your actions and argument.
  • When you cannot dispute the underlying facts, accept them as true but rationalize your actions. You are allowed to make mistakes as long as you have no wrongful intent. Being stupid is not a crime.
  • Always say in words you “take responsibility” but try to indirectly shift the blame on other people and factors. You need to portray yourself as a “stand up” guy or gal.
  • When you cannot defend your actions or arguments attack the messenger to detract attention from your questionable actions.
  • Always show your kindness by doing people favors. You will require the gratitude of such people to come to your aid and defend you.
  • Build up your stature, integrity, and credibility by publicizing the good deeds you have done in areas unrelated to the subject of scrutiny.
  • Build a strong base of support. Try to have surrogates and the beneficiaries of your largess stand up for you and defend you.
  • If you can, appear to take the “high road” and have your surrogates do the “dirty work” for you. After all, you cannot control the actions of your zealots.
  • Blame others inside your organization by claiming they were doing things they were not authorized to do; or operated outside of their authority you had given them to act.
  • Claim your organization has been given a clean bill of health by the governing authorities.
  • Claim your statements have been taken out of context or twisted by critics not wanting the organization to succeed.
  • Blame your problems on jealous competitors, banks or financial institutions, or overzealous government agencies trying to keep the little guy down.
  • When you can no longer spin, shut up. For example, offer no guidance to investors or resign for “personal reasons.” Your surrogates and so-called friends can still speak on your behalf and defend you.
  • If you are under investigation always say you will “cooperate.” However, use all means necessary legal or otherwise to stifle the investigators. Remember that “people live on hope” and their inclination is to believe you.
  • When called to testify under oath (if you do not exercise your 5th amendment privilege against self-incrimination) have selective memory about your questionable actions. It is harder to be charged with perjury if you cannot remember what you have done rather than testify and lie about it.
  • However, before you testify have other friendly witnesses testify before you to defend you. You need to “lock in” their stories first (before they change their minds) so your testimony does not conflict with their testimony and your story will appear to be more truthful.
  • Try not to have your actions at least appear to rise to the level of criminal conduct or a litigable action. Being stupid or being unethical is not always a crime or a tortuous action.
  • One last rule, to be a most effective spinner always keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The kindness you show your enemies will reduce their propensity to be skeptical of you.