Matt Poll on Identifying a
Day Trading Scam
“The primary thing I would look for in avoiding day trade scams is going to be around control. There’s this association that if you’re a day trader, somehow, that some scam’s going on. I found that’s completely not true.
If someone’s classifying themselves as a day trader, they’re the ones in control. It’s usually their own money. Or it’s their own retirement or some money that they raised or earned from something else. And so they are in it with their own funds. Where I start to see the most day trading scams is where the people don’t have control.
Furthermore, the trading scams happen when people are trying to take other people’s money, or they have a “fund” people are trading. Or they have some promised delivery system. You know, some thing they were trading that was making a bunch of money, and it really didn’t.
Then it ends up turning out to be a Ponzi scheme. Raising money from other people. And in return, they’re actually not even trading. They’re just living off of the money that people gave them and never actually went out and traded in the first place.
I hear stories, probably a couple each year, of people losing millions of dollars to these types of day trading scams. It’s a real thing. So control is a big piece.
If the money’s not in your bank account, it’s a lot harder to control what’s going on with it.”
How do I know if I’m currently involved in a day trading scam?
“So if you are already giving your money to someone else, you might be hearing this for the first time and going “am I a victim already?” And that’s a great question to ask yourself.
If you’re giving your money to someone else who’s classifying themselves as a day trader, they have a system and they’re supposedly trading it. I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate people that are out there doing this, but a lot are doing it in an illegal way.
You might ask some questions. I would look at the language that was used to enroll you and getting your money. And one of the words that I would look for is “guarantee.” If any type of day trader makes a promise that they can guarantee some future result. That is a enormous red flag to me. Because one, this is a highly regulated industry, and you just can’t do that. You can’t use words like “guarantees” in the day trading world where there’s risks. It just, it’s not possible. It’s not possible to have a guarantee in a world filled with non guarantees.
So it’s just it’s a paradox. Really, it’s like this is that reality, there are risks. So you can’t make guarantees. If they use that language, you’re you’re probably at a higher risk. They’re running some type of Ponzi scheme.
Other words or language that I would look for is disclaimers. If they didn’t hand you something that had disclaimers. If you didn’t see federal state disclaimers on stuff that you signed, or if they’re not registered. That’s a big red flag for me. Because, again, this is a very highly regulated industry. And if they’re not in compliance with those things, it’s like what else? What other rules are they breaking? What other things are they doing with your money that doesn’t fall into this? This is a regulated industry and so I would immediately see that as a sign like, hey, something could be going. I’m not saying it is, but could be going wrong here, and would be worth investigating.
Now, if you’re being approached at the moment, those are the type of questions I would ask. I think “you just made a guarantee, I know you’re not supposed to be doing that… what’s going on? Why am I not seeing any disclaimers? Also, why am I not seeing anything about how this is a highly high risk type of environment or you’re not giving me my federal and state disclosures? Why am I not seeing that?”
Those type of questions will very quickly percolate whatever nastiness or gross things that are actually lying underneath. That will start to kind of rise to that surface.”
What is the safest way to avoid day trading scams?
“The safest way to avoid scammers is to be responsible and the most responsible way to be interacting with day trading is to be doing it yourself.
Now, there are places or systems that people promise certain types of things. And immediately, that’s a red flag to me. You’re not going to get into day trading with a promise again, or a guarantee that you’re going to get some result. But ultimately, the lowest risk way. And the the highest way to get the result that you’re looking for is to do it yourself, get educated.
You know, it may seem like a long road, but the end result is way more worth it because handing it to someone else and your money to someone else with the possibility of it completely disappearing. And they never even traded in the first place. That’s a way higher risk and you learning how to do it with the risk of losing at something.
And so I would say take the path of learning how to learn how to do this on your own, learn how to day trade, and give yourself time. Give yourself at least a year, the same. I’m going to give myself a year to learn how to do this, because it’s not a get rich, quick thing either.
I mean, sure, there’s some people that trade like Vegas, and they get lucky. But ultimately, if you want to have the success of a successful day trader, it’s gonna take time, and you just got to go into it knowing “I’m competing with the world around this. And ultimately, I only have to be 51% better than everyone else, right?”
Which is grade school, that was an F, right? So it’s like, you do have those advantages. However, it’s like this. This is going to take some time and patience. And ultimately, the end of the day, it’s about your returns. It’s about your percentage returns not how much how many dollars do they take into my account? And if you could stick with that attitude, you could be a very successful day trader.”
About Matt Poll
Matt Poll is the Co-Founder of General Trader Fulfillment, a company designed to help provide tools and education for investing in the financial markets. Founded during the 2008 recession, GTF has grown to become a national company with over 30 brands and offices.
As an entrepreneur, Matt loves new projects and is a partner in multiple other business ventures nationwide specifically in the real estate, hospitality, and the food and beverage market. He is a father of two boys which drives his passion for education, specifically in the area of entrepreneurship for children. “Live to give” is one of his mottos and he specifically looks for organizations that have high impact in the local community when donating. Matt also gives back to his community by providing personal coaching to business owners and entrepreneurs.