What is Affinity Fraud?
I recently stumbled upon a 3-part video on Affinity Fraud, aptly titled Affinity Fraud: Preying on Those Who Pray. Every year, billions of dollars (in the U.S. alone) are stolen from unsuspecting victims of this kind of fraud. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUv4dDavC6U&list=PLDF985F76B59B68E7&index=1
Simply put, although there’s nothing simple about it, affinity fraud occurs when individuals are victimized by someone who was able to assimilate to their “culture” in order to manipulate their financial resources. Such fraud has been called “fraud in the name of God” for the fact that congregations belonging to churches have historically been a target of such crime.
Better put by authors Frank Perri and Richard Brody in their recent article, Affinity is only Skin Deep, http://www.fraud-magazine.com/article.aspx?id=4294977171 affinity fraud is a financial scheme practice that relies on building trust with victims based on shared affiliations and characteristics- such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, or professional designations- for financial gain. Basically, a ponzi-scheme.