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Boiler room scams and how to avoid them...

Updated on August 2, 2010

I am going to assume that we all know what boiler room scam actually means, if you don't.... I have some great business opportunities for you.... (joking ).

Most all scams start with a 'cold call ' which you will probably have some difficulty understanding as the TQ (telephone qualifier ) will probably have English as a second language, unless they are really dangerous, when they will sound like your favourite uncle calling to send you some money because he likes you.

All scams are based upon GREED and unless you do not have any greed, you are susceptible to them.

The typical cold call will start of with a short story setting the scene, followed by a reference to how this could be to your benefit, and leading to a point where you agree to receive more details of the scam, sorry, money making scheme/share/bond/IPO or whatever they are selling to you.

In all probability you will be inclined to say yes send me some info just so that they will stop being so persistently annoying.

TQ's work on the laws of rejection, if they make 'X' number of calls, 'Y' number will say no (or become 'slammers' who put the phone down on them), but a very small number will become victims, and they are like gold prospectors, sieving through tons of river mud (that's you ) in order to find one small nugget (that's the victim ) who may demonstrate that they can be controlled, by falling for the pitch that they put out.

Scams are all about control.

That's control over YOU by THEM, and a good scam artist will swiftly use his superior skills to establish that when he says jump, you look for a hoop to jump through.

Never think that you can play with a scam artist, it's the equivalent to thinking that the Christian in the Collosium can convert the lion into a vegetarian, and if you do start to play, beware, you will probably end up believing that what they say is actually credible and will produce you a sound return.

The best you could achieve would be to get the lion to say grace before he ate you.

The TQ is probably a low paid expendable asset to the 'owner ' who will replace 60% of his TQ 'team ' weekly or monthly, they may stay around long enough to get paid for their work, they may even earn (by comparison to where they live ) relatively good money, the best will move up the line to become QUALIFIERS who will be the nice folk who 'warm you up ' and prepare you for the kill... sorry, close.... Boy it's difficult to stay in vernacular!

Most of these cold calls will originate in exotic locations, or the Phillipines (which is NOT an exotic location, just a country that cannot keep pace with the scammers who work from there) .

They do not care about phone costs, because modern telephony means they use VOIP systems that have two advantages.... first they are virtually free to use, and secondly, you cannot know where they are calling you from.

So you can have on scammer 'calling you ' and telling you that they are in Manila (or Manchester) and next to them another scammer can be 'calling you ' from Shanghai (or London) all locations are purely subjective matters according to where they say they may be.

These guys move through time and space like Startrek.

The QUALIFIER will again be testing you to see how high you can jump when commanded, and will be conditioning you to believe that something truly wonderful is going to enter your life by your involvement with these guys. I say guys though there are many women scammers as well, but let's just call them all guys.

By the time he has finished with you, you will probably be feeling wary but also interested. It's at this point that human nature really takes over, and you start to hope that just maybe you can invest those dollars you own and multiply them 500% with this inside information that you now have about this wonderful scheme.

Sound the ALARM BELLS you are starting to be drawn in by your own greed.

Everyone will tell you that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and that's a fact, but it's one we all ignore when we see those big bucks accumilating before our eyes as we anticipate making a quick return for little effort.

Take it from me the HARDEST money to earn is an QUICK BUCK.

Ironically even the scammers are taken in by their own greed, and despite making large (seriously large ) amounts of money from gullible idiots like you... sorry, potential clients like you.... sheesh it's hard to stop telling the truth !

Those guys you see spending money like water..... are spending your money.

OK it may not be the actual dollars you transferred to some remote bank in an obscure country you probably never visited unless you were caught up in 'Nam, but it's going to beYOUR money that pays for their next round of drinks or expensive lifestyles that YOU support.

...who will then handle you like a long lost friend newly found, and slowly (or quickly and violently, depending on the scam being performed )
...who will then handle you like a long lost friend newly found, and slowly (or quickly and violently, depending on the scam being performed )
..."Your did WHAT! - you bought shares from a cold call from someone you never met before and then sent cash to a third world banking country.... ."
..."Your did WHAT! - you bought shares from a cold call from someone you never met before and then sent cash to a third world banking country.... ."


Once the QUALIFIER has warmed you up, you will get passed to the CLOSER, who will then handle you like a long lost friend newly found, and slowly (or quickly and violently, depending on the scam being performed ) persuade you that you simply MUST NOT miss out on this opportunity, and if you have been willing to be controlled until this point, you will start panting (metaphorically ) like a Pavlovian hound when you realise what a great opportunity this actually represents.

The actual close will take place soon after you have been primed by the CLOSER to jump high enough, and you will be led to make a rash decision based upon the extraordinary fact that you just happen to have been in the right place.... just as this deal was happening..... but you have to move fast.... or you will miss it....

MISS IT, even genuine good deals are like London Buses, there will be another one along soon enough.

You did not miss it? ..... you actually gave them money!

Welcome to the club of hapless suckers who will probably NEVER see their cash again, you belong to substantial body of fools who have been parted from their money, as the proverb states they will be.

Most of you will not even report it to the authorities, thereby allowing these guys to keep going and scamming more innocent fools, and almost NOBODY will admit it to their friends....

I mean look at it, "Your did WHAT! - you bought shares from a cold call from someone you never met before and then sent cash to a third world banking country.... ."

No we do NOT tell our friends, which is a shame, and why sometimes several folk in the same large corporation get scammed by the same scammers because nobody knows that Joe in Marketing was hit by the same scammers as Charlie in Project Management.

These guys carry on scamming until and unless the deal gets blown by exposure, normally on the Internet nowadays in a blog or forum, or the police make their presence known and uncomfortable.

In Spain the Guardia Civil, who deal with these fraudsters, usually raid the office, collect all the computers and passports, hold those with no identity (and that's most of them) for 24 hours and then let them go, when they promptly move location and start again somewhere else.

If you have been scammed, and they are still in operation with THAT scam, try calling and asking for your cash back, you MAY just get MOST or at least SOME of it returned if you move quickly and threaten to blog them to kingdom come...

Scammers hate bright lights shone into their scams, they are like cockroaches and scuttle back into he dark recesses when the lights go on.

SHINE A LIGHT. .. it works.... sometimes!

But they normally have several scams working at the same time, often working the same fools in successive scams...

One company I investigated had conned folk with a property scam deal, then went back posing as an action group set up to 'recover' lost funds, all you needed to do was pay a 10% fee, based upon what you lost, to join the other litigants... this is known as the 'missold investments scam ' and it works fine with those gullible enough to listen a second time.

And talking about second times..... after you have fallen for the scam once with the CLOSER, you will be passed to the LOADER, who is a specialist in allowing you to get more of these phoney shares that just happen to have become available, this can really get expensive for you, but hey, you have shown them you are a 'mark', they would be stupid to allow you to walk away if you still have cash to get hold of.

But sometimes, if the deal has not been blown by scams already, and if they calculate there is more cash to be gathered, they will refund money, or as I said, some of it (they must deduct their expenses after all) and this is known as 'the cost of doing business'... i.e. if they can make more by silencing a screamer with a refund, they will do that.

You should be seeing the immorality of all this if you have one iota of sense left, but then again, do you?

When I first started in this business, many years ago, I was told "If God hadn't meant them to be sheared, he wouldn't have made them sheep ".... think on that a moment, please.

Shock horror! the radical born again believer was a scam artist!

Yep, you bet I was, from 16 years of age until about 30 I took money from unsuspecting fools, then I got involved in 'legitimate ' business when I discovered that you could make money in that also... legitimate! - Huh! take a look at the banks, hedge funds and private equity boys, they 'scam ' folk all day long, they just do it legally.

Just today it was reported that these legal crooks were taking seven billion pounds a year from UK clients....legally!

The deciding factor is morality, not legality.

I stopped scamming not for any moral reasons, but because I realised that you could sell 'integrity and truth' for a higher price than you could sell lies and deception, and you could stay in one place selling your integrity and truth day in and day out, with no fear of disruption by the authorities or anyone else.

Integrity and truth are rare commodities, they command a high price.

My move from poacher to gamekeeper came later, when I came to faith, then I stopped scamming folk, and started trying to bring them to self realisation.

But selling truth to greedy folk is a harder that taking their money by deception, folk like to believe that they can get rich quickly, they hate to hear what it costs them to gain freedom and protection from the world of scammers, legitimate and illegitimate.

Mostly they deserve their fate, to lose their prized possession.... money.

So why write this hub, self exposing, probably an insult to some, and for most something they will 'tut tut ' at and move rapidly onward?

Because we need to see that our own greed is the reason we get scammed, I was taught early on that "You cannot con an honest man, if you cannot establish greed, move on " and that is TRUTH itself.

Do I hate scammers because I write these warnings and exposures?

Not at all, like all low life forms they perform a useful purpose, they 'balance the books ' where folk have put too much reliance upon wealth and profit, to bring them peace and happiness.

They may not be my favourite people, but they do perform this task well, and they will always be with us, and I feel sorrow for them, not revulsion.... worms are generally shown little respect in our society, but they will be your final companions in the grave, and they along with grave fly, or the crematorium assistant, will ensure that you return to dust as prescribed.

God will balance the books, but I suspect that unregenerate scammers will not be welcomed in heaven?

There is a joke about the scrap metal merchant who arrived in heaven and was refused entry... St Peter told him scrap metal dealers were banned, but he begged St Peter to speak with God, he was an HONEST scrap metal dealer.... St Peter went to consult with God, who said, "Let me see him ", but when St Peter arrived back at the gate to heaven, the gates were missing..... OK it's an old joke, but we will all stand there one day, answering for what we have done, and in the end result, the folk who put their trust in wealth and profit, may not fare any better than those who stole their wealth for their own profit.

You cannot con an honest man, especially one who trusts in God not money.

Matthew 6:33 (King James Version)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Tips for dealing with cold calls

Obviously the first tip is don't take them, and dispite the fact that TQ's are trained to override your objections, just hang up, do NOT enter into the conversation, they are trained to keep you to a scripted call, and even though they sound totally natural, they are following a script.

If you do find that you have unwittingly allowed them to book you in for a second call from some very important and busy person, who will answer your questions.... don't just hang up, they will call every day until your answer phone runs out of recording space having received their incessant attempts to get hold of you.

If you fall into the first trap, tell them straight that you are just not interested in ANY sale that originates from a cold call.

Ask them to email you a copy of their passport and some utilities bill before you will take the call further... in real business it's called 'Know Your Client' and you will not be able to open even a bank account without producing proof that you are who you say you are.... ask them to do the same, they will never do it!

Buy a little device that I think they sell in Australia... when you see a cold call coming in (it will not show any real number, probably only a five digit VOIP code) answer the phone and when you hear them ask for you by name (they mostly have your name) put it on this little device (I really must source these to sell) which then takes the call over.

First they hear a voice shouting to 'you' upstairs, that "There's a call for you", then a few seconds later they hear you being called again (to keep them on the line) then they hear a dog start barking loudly into the phone, then a second one.... all accompanied by a loud TV program in the background.

It will take about five minutes of this nonsense to deal with most cold calls.

I always just say "Hang on a minute" then put the phone down and go off to make a cup of tea or mow the lawn.....

My favourite one is to just say 'YES' to every question.... nothing else, just YES... see how far you can take that before you lose them, have fun, enjoy the sport BUT DO NOT allow them to take the control away from you, it could cost you dearly.

Of course the best way is to stop being greedy.

Has anyone tried to scam you?

Be honest, it's anonymous and nobody will know!

See results


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    • bearclawmedia profile image


      10 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

      Pretty good hub, I think it is funny that you view them as boiler rooms. This is a long lost term for these types of enterprises.I must say I am glad for the raise in caste or class structure in less than fortunate countries. I mean to say there is a middle class were one did not exist until telecommunications and the internet. There has to be some merit in that. Just looking for something positive to add because you certainly did clear up a lot with this hub. Thanks as always, great hub!

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      10 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Very, Very, imformational!!!!!!!! GREAT HUB aguasilver! I have missed your hubs!! Blessings!!! You Go! Your hubs are always good!!! Luv Luv

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi Dean,

      Moved here in May so am just settling in! - Yep, I have had a colourful life! - always liked painting on a broad canvas! - but more into still life's now.

      Thanks for commenting, you did the best thing with the scammer! -watch our California.

    • cheaptrick profile image


      10 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      Hello John.Speaking of scams,I just finished redoing the bottom of my boat[fiberglass blisters]and the repair guy tried to sell me epoxy Resin for 1/4 the price as marina epoxy...Turned out to be mixed with dehydrated lime!Cheap Crap!The guy has been scamming boat owners down the Florida coast for months!Some of my buddies and I had a private"heart to heart"with him and he got on a Bus[with a little help]to California.I don't think he'll be doing business for a while.BTW...You never cease to amaze me with your disclosures...and when did you move to Malaysia?


    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      10 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Agua Silver my Brother: Over the past 4 to 5 years I have been approached with one or more of these scams each year. It is not difficult to recognize them for what they are. One of Thee Most ingeneous ones is "Publisher's Clearing House" They promise Millions upon Millions of dollars, just to excuse my bad language but "Suck you into subscription after subscription" of the various offered magazines. When will they ever learn?

      I guess P.T.Barnum's most famous saying, still applies to a lot of us, "There is a sucker born every minute."

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      The fact is that do not call lists may keep the 'legitimate' marketing companies from calling you, but scammers usually use Linklin or other social networking sites to get call info... this is called data mining and some folk earn decent money providing data lists of possible victims.

      Glad you are able to deal with them, but your main defnse is still lack of greed.

      Thanks Micky...


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      10 years ago from Southern Illinois

      A good reminder that there are crooks out there, I,m on the do-not-call-list, but rarely one gets through, when i tell them i,m on the list, they very quickly hang up.


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      If it sounds too good to be true- it probably is.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi RevLady... that's very much my point! - when I came to faith I examined closely what was legal and what was moral to do, it lead to me excluding myself from most of my prior employment, because most sales involve the three elements of witchcraft: manipulation, deception and intimidation.

      We (society) are conditioned to accept that we will be 'sold' things, that's what consumer societies are about, making you consume. But once you take the position that you only want to deal with folk who contact you, who actually want to buy from you, the quantity of 'sales' diminishes, unless you can offer a great product that in effect needs no selling because it is a need.

      It's the BS associated with creating the 'want' (greed) factor that stuffs our society up.

      I'm a hopeless consumer (member of society)since I taught myself to ignore manipulation.... I never shop unless I need something, then I go to one shop, walk in, buy it and walk out.

      msorensson, I thank you my kind lady.

    • msorensson profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow, what a great article!! Thanks!

    • RevLady profile image


      10 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      This article sounded like the marketing department at a place I use to work, though it is considered "legal." Very interesting.

      Forever His,


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