The Shaft: How Some Companies Prey on the Poor

Financial Goals


Our country’s history is rife with examples of unscrupulous individuals and financial institutions that have preyed on the unfortunate. Con artists seemed practically as common as bankers in the industrial age (some even consider them to be one and the same thing). From Charles Ponzi, so infamous he had a “Get Rich Quick” scheme named after him, to the former chairman of NASDAQ, Bernie Maddof who plead guilty in March 2009, to 11 federal crimes built on Ponzi’s example, those in a position to offer loans do so in a manner guaranteed to get the maximum amount back. Here’s a look at a few schemes (not all strictly illegal but certainly of questionable ethics) that deliberately prey on people who are poor and unsophisticated about money.

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