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Biggest Investor Mistakes: iPonzi, Anyone?

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-13T22:48:05Z

Photograph: Getty Images

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E-mail Scams

A woman called financial adviser Rick Suarez in an ecstatic mood, seeking help to manage her impending fortune. Her path to riches came via a chance e-mail from Africa, written by someone who needed help transferring his millions out of his home country. By sending $15,000 overseas from her U.S. bank account, she'd get more than $10 million back, about a quarter of which she could keep. "Immediately, I knew what it was," says Suarez, of Clarfeld Financial Advisors. "I said, 'Unfortunately this is a scam.'" The woman was devastated. "She had worked herself up thinking about the house she would buy [and] how it would change her life."