We do not do such seminars and suggest you do not attend any such seminars if the subject matter has anything to do with offshore asset protection, offshore trusts, offshore banking, offshore foundations, or anything offshore financial related.
In Panama jokes are often made about these seminars since a lot of them take place in Panama. You do not know who the other people are attending these seminars and it is common to see people filming the attendees with digital cameras and communicating with each other using microphones up their shirt sleeves. Are these people seminar security people, hotel security or something else, we do not know? For all we know someone could be planning to blackmail or kidnap seminar attendees. Kidnapping and blackmail are rare occurrences in Panama but a lot of these seminars take place in Mexico and other hi-risk countries. Think we are kidding, think again. Do you know why you see all these Nigerian financial scams in your email? Because they work, thats why.
We would not suggest to our clients that they attend any of these seminars. The price for the seminars are enough to hire a asset protection law firm and have them do your formations as well and then have some left over for a new plasma screen TV. The other attendees will often be shills trying to draw you into some phony business deal which is going to be a scam. The con man impersonates being a seminar attendee so you think hey this guy spent $7500.00 to come here, he must be rich while he is nothing more than a con man splitting with the house (the house is the seminar promoters).
These seminars have people touting returns on their managed investment accounts of over 100% per year. If the guy is so good why does he need to attend these seminars and who is doing the trading while he is running around doing seminars several times a year as in what if the market does a major shift while he is at a seminar, see what I mean.
The prices charged for services like corporations are usually three to five times higher than what they should be. Often times what is being touted are crazy trust related scams or third party banking scams that usually have a bad ending. The seminar producers, the speakers and sellers of goods and services are not attorneys, there is no attorney client privilege and these seminar attendees who purchase from them trust these people with all the pieces of their financial life all based on the credibility of giving a seminar. Any promoter with an extensive criminal record can hire a hotel, print flyers, buy mailing lists, send out brochures, charge $5000 or more for a week and give a seminar. These seminars have a big hype with testimonies, claims, etc. all in a very controlled atmosphere, they control your atmosphere. Here is this guy up on a stage speaking to hundreds of people he or she must know what they are talking about, he sells tapes, book etc. so he has to be great. Lawyers that are good and effective at asset protection dont have the time to go around doing seminars. They have ways of protecting clients assets that they are not going to get on a stage and broadcast to the seminar audience or publish in a book, newsletter, etc.
Most seminar producers publish a newsletter to get credibility and a newsletter does not make you an expert. Anyone with a computer can write a newsletter. Folks these are highly skilled marketing people who know how to promote seminars, sell products and services. Most of what they sell is poorly put together untested asset protection scam- structures designed to get you to spend large amounts of money. These structures are usually based in a jurisdiction that used to be worthy of asset protection before 9/11 and the attendees do not know the jurisdiction passed new laws ruining their older privacy and secrecy laws. Their primary motive is getting attendees to pay big bucks to attend and buy things from the speakers who kick back to them. Over the years we have heard of many big seminar promoters getting jailed in different countries for a variety of offenses with fraud being a common thread. Usually it is only a matter of time until they have an encounter with law enforcement in some country. To hook the people into attending their seminars they tout big claims which of course can not be substantiated. If it is too good to be true, its not true.
So save your seminar money and retain a good asset protection law firm that is going to protect your assets more effectively and lawfully. Someday if trouble comes knocking on your door who you going to call the seminar promoter or a competent law firm in the jurisdiction where your assets are? We rest our case.
We get a number of phone calls and emails from people who are stating they are going to come into a large amount of money and wish the money to be sent offshore and thus wish to set up offshore structures and bank accounts. When you deal with offshore asset protection clients long enough you get to know what a “real” client sounds like. You can tell by the nature of their concerns, the questions they ask, the sophistication level, their demeanor etc. what a so called “real” client sounds like. These people never sound like a “real” client. You would be amazed at the amount of clients that contact us talking about an inheritance from a dead relative. I ask them if the situation has anything to do with Nigeria and of course it does. There is always a Nigerian link in there somewhere. These people are so sold on the scam half the time we can not convince them they are being scammed. In their mind they have locked in the $25,000,000 they are promised and will not let go. We tell them do not send these people any money at all, delete their emails, forget about it, etc. They dont let go. What they do not see is all the other people that have called us with the same or a similar story and never once did we ever hear from someone who received the money. These scammers have government documents, bank documents, photos of people they say are involved, all sorts of documentation, all forged and counterfeit but authentic looking.
The scam starts with an email or fax. Some plot is created like money needs to be gotten out of Nigeria or now we see South Africa popping up too. There might be a child that needs to be taken care of and you for some seemingly good reason have been selected to be entrusted with millions of dollars to take care of him or her. There may talk about oil contracts worth millions that are available. There might be millions left to you in a will and they will even know all about your deceased relative. They may try to get you into an illegal money laundering scheme, of course you cant launder non-existent funds. Then comes money requests to have funds released, bonds, taxes, bank release fees, bank charges, bribe fees, advance fees, pay liens or encumbrances, etc. They keep hitting the victim for money as long as they can the victim either stops cooperating or runs out of money.
What the victims do not realize is what is going on behind the scenes. Something like this is probably going on behind the scenes:
Picture say a three story office building. In this building are several departments. One is the email spam section. Here the spammers are pushing out as many millions of emails they can each day, this goes on round the clock never stopping. They also will be paying spammers around the world to push out spam for them as well. They may have a fax dept. where they are sending out faxes. They also will be paying fax spammers to send out faxes for them. They probably have a few people assigned to acquiring stolen credit card so they can pay for many of the things they need with stolen credit cards like ordering background investigations on you or your dead relative from a private detective on the internet so they can really use details and facts to make their story most believable. There is a documents section where they generate all the counterfeit documents they send out. Then there is the actual phone room where the so called “barrister” or “banker” or “industrialist” or “fake government official” sits plying his fraud on the victims. These calls are monitored and sales managers walk around coaching the phone salesman as to how to improve their pitch. These calls may be played on a speaker in a room for new trainees to hear with a teacher pointing out the methodology behind the phone call. They probably have sales contests and bonuses. Now when they get a victim to send money, the case will normally go to a higher level con man. They figure they now have a live wire so let the real seasoned pros milk all they can out of them. This is just a depiction of how we see things, we have no factual information .but this should give you an idea of the sophistication level involved. Some say the Nigerian Scam is the third largest industry in Nigeria. Some also say the government of Nigeria has merged with the scammers into a sort of coalition which means there is practically no chance of ever getting your money back from them and probably precious little chance of them ever getting arrested for these scams.
As a closing thought these Nigerian Scammers with frequency try to work their scams on our law firm. They will call saying they are a prospective client and have a large sum like $30,000,000 tied up in some deal in some country, usually there is a daisy chain of banks and countries involved. At some point we start to hear about a substantial fee that is required to get the funds released and they need a short term loan to get the funds released and of course this is when we break off the communication.
This is how this popular scam works:
1. The scammer locates some forums that are relevant to the business you are trying to promote.
2. Next you enroll in the forum and post questions like hey I am looking for a good shoe store. I am thinking of buying from abc123shoes.com. Has anybody dealt with them.
3. You of course have several screen names on the forum and use another screen name to give your shoe store a reference by saying oh I bought from this other store and they were great. Dont buy from abc123shoes.com they are a scam operation. Of course no facts are given. To really embellish it a link is given to another forum where the scammer has posted similar negative postings to hurt the competitor and references this link to make it really look like the business being targeted for slander is a big scam when they reality is the forum poster and the business they are praising are the scammers. Wolf in sheep’s clothing trick. Oh I am your friend and I love to hang around in forums all day long giving out free advice, you can trust me look at how many great posts I have in this forum. This is commonly referred to as a confidence game, they get your confidence and then scam you. This is profound with alternative health care products and even takes place in the offshore financial sector.
4. To thicken it up more the scammer using additional screen names again posts positively for the business they are trying to promote making it out to be a popular product or service when it is anything but that.
5. There is a whole industry of professional forum posters who can be hired to go around the internet posting whatever you want on forums. They will have no reservation bad mouthing businesses or promoting junk products. These people are usually in third world countries and will do almost anything to make money.
Thus you see how deceitfully unscrupulous people can promote a scam business. The point of this is not to use forums as a source of references for the credibility of a business any business. Many forums are far from impartial in that the forum owners have businesses that the forums are indirectly used to promote. If the forum owner just provides a forum for people to post they are not really responsible for what is posted. So how hard is it for the forum owner to create a screen name and promote a product/service or bad mouth a competitor thus committing deniable slander.
Forums are not a reliable place to go for information about sourcing products or services. If you listen to the postings on forums you are going to get hurt.