My Simple Method for Spotting Scam Artists

Frauds are everywhere. Here’s what I look for to avoid getting taken

Mike Goldberg
4 min readJan 21, 2022


Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Any time you explore new business opportunities, you’ll inevitably encounter scam artists exploiting newcomers.

I met Jim at a real estate investment mixer in town. He approached me right away and asked me all about myself, then worked my interests into the conversation from that point forward. Any time I’d see him, he’d mention my favorite band.

It seemed like he trying to build rapport by using canned techniques he read in a textbook, but I was willing to forgive his try-hard approach. Maybe he was just socially awkward.

But I knew it wouldn’t be long before he’d present his ask.

It came like clockwork. “Hey, we’re having a meeting on Tuesday, and I’d like you to come. We’ll be discussing the formation of our wealth network, and I think you’d be a tremendous addition.”

I knew there was a 98% chance that this was a multilevel marketing scheme, but on the off chance that I might have been judging this guy a little too harshly, I decided to show up.

Besides, free food.

I wished I listened to my instincts. The moment I sat down with all the other suckers, I realized that I was trapped for an hour and a half listening to a pitch for an MLM-based Real Estate education course, and there was no way I could exit gracefully.

Even worse, there was no food.

From that point forward, Jim was toast as far as I was concerned. By choosing to stoop to multilevel marketing, there was no chance I’d ever work with him in any capacity.

If only I had checked out his social media beforehand, I would have learned everything I needed to know. A quick look at his page revealed nothing but extremist propaganda. There were so many conspiracy theories on his page, I even saw new ones I never even knew existed.

People who buy into conspiracy theories are intellectually lazy, and it’s a clear indication to me they would rather take the path of least resistance instead of doing hard and sometimes inconvenient work.



Mike Goldberg

3x Top Writer | Traveler | Real estate investor | Storyteller | Occasional columnist | I talk about personal growth and seizing opportunities.