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TOPIC: Conman

Conman 3 Months, 4 Weeks ago  
'I fear my son was born bad'

I had a run-in with a conman a few years ago. He was posing as an "independent financial adviser", working for an international firm purporting to provide independent financial advice but in reality using unqualified salesmen to deploy a well-crafted sales pitch couched in the jargon of the IFA to lure unwary British expats into investment products that will drain their savings through high commission and fees. I signed up to the product he recommended after thinking I had been very thorough, asking all the questions and more recommended by the Financial Conduct Authority in a booklet on questions to ask financial advisers, and he had a convincing and reassuring answer to every one. Thankfully, however, when I received the actual investment contract, I read it through and became suspicious that the product had been misrepresented. After double-checking various points with the product provider and asking the "IFA", his boss and the customer services department for specifics on commission and fees and getting nowhere, I pulled out during the initial one-month cooling off period, getting my money back from the product provider.

To cut a long story short, I established that my "IFA" had lied about the investment and lied about his professional background, having a reassuring story that he was unable to keep straight. It was a close thing. I could have trusted that he was what he and his employer said he was and that everything had been properly explained rather than reading the small print. Though I didn't lose money, my faith in my own judgment was shaken and these doubts have stayed with me ever since.

The man has since set up his own financial consultancy in the UK, unregistered with the Financial Conduct Authority, and seems to be doing well, living in a large country house worth over £1 million. Since he lied to me so comprehensively, was employed by a thoroughly unscrupulous firm and is still in the same line of work, I am sure he must have successfully conned others. What puzzles me is that there appear to me no reviews of his services online (apart from supposed client testimonials on his website trumpeting his "integrity"), let alone any comments from people who feel they have been misled. I'm not going to rectify that and name him, as I have no proof he lied to me (all "advice" was given verbally, another clever ploy of his unscrupulous former employer) and did not lose money, but I strongly suspect there may be clients out there who have lost money and who are either as yet unaware, perhaps trusting Madoff-style updates on how their "portfolio" is doing, or too embarrassed to admit to being duped and report their experience online. He could have embarked on the straight and narrow and become a superb (unregulated) financial adviser, but given the ease with which he lied to my face I doubt that very much. Indeed, in an exchange I had with someone who had worked with him, he was described to me as a "professional crook".

I suppose that one can only trust that karma will do her thing in the end.
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Re:Conman 3 Months, 4 Weeks ago  
I should add that there's ample evidence from feedback online that the product my "IFA" was recommending has cost others tens of thousands of pounds.
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