Influencers and suspicious investments have been around as long as humankind. It’s just a question of what particular type of methodology is employed to perpetrate the fraud or scam.
By way of demonstration let’s revisit one of the first recorded fraud attempts. Have you ever heard of bottomry? Probably not a word used in your everyday conversation - the name is derived from the keel or bottom of the ship on which the master or owner has secured a loan. In essence it is a system of merchant insurance in which a ship is used as security against a loan to finance a voyage, the lender losing their money if the ship sinks.
Way back in about 300 BC a Greek sea merchant, named Hegestratos, was due to carry a cargo of grain from Syracuse to Athens but he had other plans - more of a get rich quick merchant (pun intended) - by which he planned to insure the grain, sink his empty ship, sell the corn and keep the loan. History records that his crew didn’t take to kindly to his plan; they caught him in the act and he was drowned trying to escape their wrath. So Hegestratos was quite clearly endeavouring to profit from a crooked investment.
And so on and so forth down through the ages we have evidence of various individuals and/or regimes doing their utmost to carry out successful financial frauds to the detriment of their fellow’s bank account balances.
Now in the modern age we have a preponderance of Ponzi-type schemes, all of which take their name from Charles Ponzi the Italian fraudster. He was a career criminal arriving in North America in 1903, then to moving to Canada to ‘hone his trade’ (fraud) before moving back to the USA about 10 years later. There he elaborated on a fraud-pattern already well-established by predecessors but on a much grander scale, to net him more than $8 million in just 7 months before the scheme collapsed and he was eventually sentenced to 14 years.
For one of the most recent large scale ‘suspicious’ investments involving a modern day ’influencer’ see my most recent comment here. After all, what is an ‘influencer’ other than someone who uses their prominence to encourage (influence) others to follow a certain path? They don’t all have to have a social media platform to do that, although it can help to reach the more susceptible!
So, clearly, ‘influencers’ come in all shapes and forms, from the obvious to the not so obvious - they’re not all going to stand out from the crowd with neon signs over their heads illuminating their true intent, whether it be on social media or in supposedly reputable financial circles.
So, as always in this world, if it seems too good to be true then you can bet your bottom dollar that it is indeed too good to be true!