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Biggest Investor Mistakes: iPonzi, Anyone?

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

Staton Winter/Bloomberg

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Currency Scams

An international pilot was intrigued by a pitch he heard while socializing in airport lounges. A salesman was persuading other pilots to invest in Iraqi currency--by wiring money to a foreign bank account--in order to increase their investment 10-fold as the U.S. government converted the holdings into dollars. The pilot and his uncles wanted to invest more than $40,000 before his adviser, Mark Lamkin of Lamkin Wealth Management, raised questions about the scheme. It was the complexity of the currency transaction that made it sound legitimate, Lamkin says. "More sophisticated people fall for sophisticated scams." Other pilots "lost every dollar," he says.