FOMO, Fraud, and Financial Ruin: Lessons From the Crypto Craze

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Editor’s Note: This episode initially aired on Nov. 30, 2023. It may contain some details that are out of date.

In this episode, we’re talking about how money FOMO, among other things, can make you vulnerable to scams and how to avoid being a victim.

Cryptocurrency was all the rage for a couple of years, and it seemed nothing could go wrong. It was a very social experience. In 2022, 31% of new crypto investors got started with advice from a friend. On top of that, 10% of investors cited the fear of missing out, or FOMO, as a reason to get into the market.

When inexperienced investors flood into fad investments like crypto, scammers aren’t far behind. And that’s exactly what happened with crypto. The market collapsed, and thousands of would-be millionaires had their savings wiped out.

Let’s make sure crap like this doesn’t happen to you.

Host Stacy Johnson is joined by financial journalist Miranda Marquit. Listening in and sometimes contributing is producer Aaron Freeman. Today investigative reporter Zeke Faux, author of the book Number Go Up, just named a book of the year by the Washington Post, will join us to talk about how the fear of missing out can lead to scams.

Before you listen, remember: This isn’t financial advice. So make sure to do your own research and consult your own experts before acting on anything you learn here.

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Watch out for scams

Scams are everywhere. Even smart people can fall for scams. As we talked about with our guest, there are many reasons people fall prey to fraudsters. Here are some scams to watch out for, as well as resources on avoiding scams:

How to invest — without being scammed

Investing is still one of the best ways to build wealth over time. And, just because cryptocurrency ended up being ripe for fraudsters, it doesn’t mean all investments are scams. Here are some resources for making money with investments:

Meet this week’s guest, Zeke Faux

Zeke Faux
Courtesy of Zeke Faux / Money Talks News

Zeke Faux is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News, and a former National Fellow at New America. He’s a winner of the Gerald Loeb award, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel award and a National Magazine Award finalist. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, and the anthologies The Year’s Best Sportswriting and The Best Business Writing. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.

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About the hosts

Stacy Johnson founded Money Talks News in 1991. He’s a CPA, and he has also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.

Miranda Marquit, MBA, is a financial expert, writer and speaker. She’s been covering personal finance and investing topics for almost 20 years. When not writing and podcasting, she enjoys travel, reading and the outdoors.

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