George C. Parker was known as the greatest con-man in American history. He managed to sell landmark items like Madison Square Gardens, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, which he once sold for $50,000. Police had to stop the "new owners" from setting up toll booths in the middle of the bridge.
There are con-men all around the world who try to part us from our hard-earned money, and some of them are very good. We can protect ourselves in several ways. Here are a few things that might help
One, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If somebody tells you that you can make $1000 on a $100 investment or tries to sell you a high-profit-no-risk scheme, he's probably trying to con you. So is the guy trying to sell you a miracle cure, whether to regrow your hair or heal your cancer! Don't be taken in.
Two, beware of high-pressure tactics. If somebody tells you that the offer is a now-or-never deal or tries to bully you into buying something (or buying into something), tell him to take a hike. Time-share sellers almost always do this, and many are fly-by-night operators who close shop once the scam is over.
Three, scammers invariably talk nonsense, so keep asking questions. Asking questions is always a good idea when purchasing *anything*. I have had legitimate organizations like my phone provider try to sell me things by promising a seemingly great deal. Questions revealed she was not revealing relevant information that made the "great" deal quite terrible.
Four, watch out for phishing scams. Such scams attempt to gain access to your personal information and then use that information to drain your account or use your credit cards. Most banks regularly warn against this, but people still get scammed regularly. Simple warning: don't give out any confidential information to anybody unless it is in response to an inquiry that you have initiated.
Five, read up on scams and cons! These days, we can easily educate ourselves about common scams. Google the topic today! A small investment of your time might save you a lot of our money.
Finally, a word of advice from Scripture: "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle" (Proverbs 23:4-5).
May the Spirit be with you.