Here is another example of how to be parted from your money without getting anything back in return, except perhaps a certain kind of education. It is not based on personal experience but is based on a certain understanding of statistics. It contains a warning against certain old-fashioned scams that have never quite gone away.
If we went to the races together and I told you I was going to back six winners in six races, you might be sceptical. If after each race I showed you the stub of my betting slip and then came back from one of the bookies’ stands with a my winnings, you would probably revise your opinion. If by the end of the day I had indeed done that six times, I suspect you would look upon me as a man who knew something about racing. You might consider paying yo join my betting syndicate or to receive my daily tips.
If I wrote to you advising you to buy, or alternatively to sell, certain specific shares on the Stock Exchange, you might or might not take me seriously, but you would probably check the share prices to see if I was correct. If I was, perhaps you would be more interested the next time. If I was right six times in a row, you might consider paying to join my investment syndicate or to receive my share-tipping service.
You could obviously think of other variations on this.
What you would not know is that I had backed every horse in every race that day, but showed you only the winning slips. Similarly, you would not know that I had advised equal numbers of people to buy as to sell every share I tipped. I would, of course, not bother contacting the losers a second time. If I contacted enough people in the first place I would be bound to find a few who got successful tips every time.
I would make enough out of those few subscriptions to my betting or share-tipping services to make a profit. The fact that you would all end up out of pocket would not be my problem.
If you think a thing is too good to be true, it probably is! Save your money, and your embarrassment.