This article was published on 22 April 2021. Some information may be out of date.


  • Bernie Madoff (just died) and David Ross (recently released from prison)
  • Who is most often approached, and how?
  • Types of scams — boiler room, Ponzi, high-risk products, shares, software packages and seminars, imposter websites
  • What to do if considering an investment that might be dodgy
  • What to do if you think you might have been scammed

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Mary Holm, ONZM, is a freelance journalist, a seminar presenter and a bestselling author on personal finance. She is a director of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL) and a former director of the Financial Markets Authority. Her opinions are personal, and do not reflect the position of any organisation in which she holds office. Mary’s advice is of a general nature, and she is not responsible for any loss that any reader may suffer from following it. Send questions to [email protected] or click here. Letters should not exceed 200 words. We won’t publish your name. Please provide a (preferably daytime) phone number. Unfortunately, Mary cannot answer all questions, correspond directly with readers, or give financial advice.