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Last update : November 2013
Land Banking Companies

Why the majority of them are (legal) scams

Are You Being 'Financially Groomed'


Grooming is generally a sick word and it's no different in the land of scams where the real goal is to milk the victim over time in order to steal the maximum amount of money via financial grooming.

  • Financial grooming is where the scammers will initially persuade the victim to only invest a small amount, perhaps under £5,000, in a worthless investment made to sound like it's easy money

  • Then overtime as they gain more trust with the victim they'll come back time and time again with more and more 'hot' investment ideas

  • These further investments will likely be dressed up in this fashion -
"The deal is only being offered at present to our best and most progressive clients but you have to be quick because everyone is jumping at this one.

Our senior analysts are projecting that within 2 years the price will have doubled at a MINIMUM.

I'm not supposed to tell you but within the next month a well known billion dollar corporation is going to be investing significant money in the area (or industry) and when that happens everyone is going to want to follow them. This means your investments will go through the roof.

Do I have a commitment from you Sir? Do you want to be financially secure, to provide for your family and children's education etc?'

  • The scammers will rinse/repeat on the victim until either he or she has no money left or finally realises they've been scammed
  • There are sadly plenty of stories about victims re-mortgaging their property to invest more and more

It's so sad because I'm getting more and more emails per week now, many from the older generation, with tales of how they've been conned out of their life savings by being financially groomed over a period of time.

How to spot if you're being Financially Groomed

1. Initial 'touch base' phone call
  • You'll receive a cold call from an impressive sounding investment firm
  • This will be to introduce the firm so they can try to send you a colourful and glossy brochure
  • However, this brochure will be full of marketing and business fluff, crappy talk about how their clients are important to them etc and no doubt full of flashy pictures of busy businessmen and flashy villas with a few palm trees thrown in

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


2. Big song and dance about low interest rates
  • It's tough for savers right now with interest rates at historic lows and they show no sign of rising any time soon
  • The scammers love to play up to this, they love to remind their victims about how tough it is to make money with cash
  • But if you invest in one of these schemes you'll get an easy 15% - 20% yield (they make it out that these sorts of yields are as simple as walking across the room to pick the money up)

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


3. Have you considered 'Alternative Investments'
  • The scammers will often talk down traditional style investments, too much risk and little reward they'll say
  • Alternative investments yielding an easy 10%-20% a year are the way to go
  • Such things as -
  • Carbon Credits
  • Fine Wine
  • Rare earth metals
  • Plots of UK land that will soon receive planning permission (rezoned)
  • Shale Gas (this is a new one)
  • Rice Paddies in Asia
  • Palm Oil plantations
  • Farmland and plantations in Africa
  • Bamboo farming
  • Burial plots in the UK
  • Graphene - It's a new type of 'wonder' metal and the scammers love to use these sorts of things as a cover story in order to STEAL your money
  • Plots of land in sunny countries like the Cayman Islands and Brazil (be quick though because they're about to 'rocket' in value due to the World Cup/Olympics...)
  • Coconut plantations in Brazil
  • Social housing in Brazil (Brazil is probably the real hot spot of property fraud right now, please take note)
  • Teak plantations in Costa Rica or other sunny countries
  • And so on...

The scammers also love to drive home the point (which is a lie) that up until now big money investments such as the above had only been available to the very rich and such entities as Hedge Funds.

But now, thanks to firms like the one calling you, these 'super profitable' investments have been made available to the smaller investor so you too have the chance to reap those big profits just like the ultra rich!

Of course, the above is total rubbish, so if the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


4. I want to be your friend...
  • It's all about trust for the scammers, you trusting them that is
  • The selling of the scams will be done carefully so they'll try hard to become your friend
  • Are you religious, if so they will be regular Churchgoers
  • Do you like Cricket, if so they'll love it
  • Are you a keen gardener, if so they'll have green fingers
  • A lot of the initial conversations will be about trying to develop this friendship with not much talk about investments (or selling)

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


5. Phone Calls to 'keep you updated'
  • The scammers love to keep their customers informed
  • Perhaps you'll receive a call 1-2 times a month with an update on the current market and prices
  • Again, little if any selling will be done on these calls, the aim is to try and create the illusion that the company cares about you
  • As they know what your interests are, a lot of the call will be non-business related, perhaps a few jokes and a discussion of yesterday's big football game
  • They'll often sign off saying 'we've got no deals at present but the boss is working on something big and really exciting. If that happens we should be able to offer you a great price. I'll be in touch....
  • This new and exciting deal of course will happen and you will be getting further calls from the scammers

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


6. Phone call from a 'Senior Portfolio Director'
  • Say you've been speaking with a John Smith (by the way, most of the time fake names will be used)
  • You'll sometimes get a call from a Charles Taylor and he'll have a very grand sounding title like 'Senior Portfolio Director'
  • Maybe he'll try to sell you something, maybe not, but it's all part of the grooming plan because the scammers want you to feel important
  • This is why 'senior Directors' are taking an interest in you and your circumstances

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


7. You're very shrewd...
  • We all have a weakness when someone charms and flatters us
  • The scammers are experts at psychology and so know stroking a client's ego is often the way to gain access to their money
  • So if you're constantly reminded how clever you are, how you're shrewd going for alternative investments rather than use the services of the greedy banks or useless financial advisors - you're being setup

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


8. Transferring you to the 'Compliance Department'
  • It's all about being, or rather sounding, as professional as possible for these companies
  • This is why they love to use the fancy address tactic, ie rent a 1 room short term office in a big well known building or area of London, think Heron Tower/The Gherkin/Mayfair/Knightsbridge/Canada Square etc
  • The real office, where all the scammers and liars work will be in some drab office block in the suburbs (Bromley is a real den of thieves/scammers)
  • Another well known tactic is to 'transfer' you to different official sounding departments such as the 'Compliance Department' or the 'Legal and Verification Department' where no doubt you'll speak to another 'Senior Director'
  • Basically it's all lies, and whoever you talk to in one of those fictitious departments is another scammer the other side of the office

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


9. Big interest yield (but please wait a few years...)
  • As I said in point 2 above, the scammers love to play on the current misery that 0.5% interest rates offer people with cash
  • The scammers come with a story where it's easy (just give them your cash!) to earn 10%-30% per annum, returns I might add that 95%+ of the top blue chip financial institutions cannot hope to offer even their best clients, ie the ones they don't take advantage of
  • However, there is of course a catch: You'll be told that because the investment takes time to 'get going' due to all the 'investment' that's needed there will be no yield in the first several years......
  • In effect the promised yield is no different from the carrot in front of the donkey, it looks really tasty but it's never going to be possible to eat it
  • No doubt the scammer will tell the potential investor that the non payment of the yield for several years shouldn't be a concern because their senior analysts say the value of the land is only going one way, UP!
  • See, whatever way you look, you'll be making money!
  • I really hope many readers are starting to feel and understand how these scam companies operate and have answers and sly tricks to fool the uninformed investor

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


10. The 'voice signature' threat

This one normally relates to the Boiler room scammers, the fake brokers that either sell fake shares, real shares that are worthless, or fake pre-IPO shares usually in Gold mines or bio tech companies etc.

  • The salesman, sorry let's be honest here, thief, will try to get a verbal commitment off you to buy some shares
  • You'll then be transferred to the fake Compliance Department and speak with a Director of Compliance who will tell you the call is being recorded (it's not because the scammers don't want any evidence of their crimes)
  • There is of course no compliance department nor Director, remember EVERYTHING you're being told is a lie
  • He'll ask you for the made up term, a 'voice signature'
  • Now, if you get cold feet before you send the money the compliance director will get very annoyed and use the 'voice signature' as a lever to force payment
  • You'll be threatened with court action, the Police and other made up rubbish
  • IT'S ALL NOTHING BUT TALK, these are scammers you're talking to so a) they won't take you to court, and b) there is no such thing with these scam companies as a 'voice signature'
  • Hold firm, laugh at their ridiculous claims and call their bluff, tell them you'd love to see them in court...

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...



11. The Fake Valuation

This is a nasty one and designed to con the client out of more money.

  • Say you've been convinced to buy a plot of (worthless swamp) land in NE Brazil for around £10,000
  • A few months goes by and the salesman calls again with excellent news - your plot of land has been revalued by the Brazilian Land Agency (I don't know if that entity exists, I've just made it up and it sounds official which is what the scammers like), it's now worth £13,000!
  • A 30% gain in a few months when interest rates are at 0.50% is a hell of a good deal
  • However, the valuation is a complete lie, it's nothing more than a ploy to get you to invest more money and why not, your first deal is already showing a very healthy profit
  • This sales strategy happens to every client as sure as the Sun rises in the East
  • But what if you say 'great, I'll sell and take the money'? You can say that but as sure as the Sun sets in the West, the excuses will start . Sadly you'll never be able to sell at any price as that's not part of the company's business plan, that being to rip as many people off as possible and then disappear...

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose MORE money...


12. The Ponzi Interest Payment
  • Say a flashy named non FSA registered company calls you saying the yields on African farmland are 15% a year and this is where all the shrewd people are investing
  • You fall for the bait, invest and then tell some of your friends
  • Your friends kindly deliver the bad news, saying you've probably been legally scammed, legally because you will have probably bought the land but the price you paid, say £2,000 an acre is grossly overvalued, the real value if probably £50 an acre, if that
  • Nothing happens for 6 months, then the charming salesman calls bearing you a dividend yield of 15% (paid bi-annually) which is paid into your bank
  • So much for your friends duff advice because the yield proves the investment has been a great one - who else is paying 15% these days?
  • But have you ever thought that the payment received is actually the company repaying a tiny proportion of what you initially invested?
  • It's all part of the financial grooming process, the company trying to offer as much evidence as possible that the initial investment was a good one
  • Now you're converted the company will target you to invest more, after all the initial investment is working and you're getting paid the proof being the dividend payment in your bank
  • Not only that, chances are the company will offer you a deal - try to sell some of the land to your friends/family and receive a cut likely in more (worthless) land and not actual cash (the scammers aren't stupid)
  • The dividend payment can go along way to convincing friends/family that the deal is legit and not a scam
If the above has happened to you - you're not only being financially groomed to lose your money, you may be about to introduce some family/friends into the scheme.

Do that and you'll be held responsible for the almost certain losses. Losses AND family/friendship are therefore at serious risk...


13. Does your sales call sound like this
  • The Daily Mirror does a superb job fighting the scammers
  • Its Penman & Sommerlad 'Investigate' column really dishes the dirt and has helped many 1,000s of readers keep hold of their money and out of the hands of the scammers, thieves and general lowlife scum
  • Make sure you read this article - The secrets of the cold calling investment scammers
  • At the end of the article, before the comments, there's a taped recording of the sales/scam call - Listen to it if needed so as to educate yourself
  • More sales script rubbish from these Carbon Credit scammers
  • Boiler Room sales script (see the Scribd letter at the end)- If the person on the phone uses these crappy and quite frankly pathetic lines then you're being setup
  • Here's another boiler room scam script - If you phone call goes anything like this, you're being setup by a scammer
  • Folks, these scammers all to use the same language, the same tactics and the same lies etc
  • Be careful though, because although the scammer on the taped phone call is a classic wideboy, many of this sort of scum are far smoother with cut glass accents
  • Sadly the devil comes in many forms...

If the above has happened to you - you're being financially groomed to lose your money...


Summary

The scammers are lethal for your financial health. They will do and say whatever it takes to steal your money.

They live their lives as a lie and have zero morals, and they'll quite happily con the life savings out of anyone, including a 78 year old man who recently contacted me with a heartbreaking story. Sadly I could do nothing for him as I can only help BEFORE people invest.

Please everyone - WAKE UP. If any of the above points have happened to you I can assure you with 100% accuracy that -

  1. You're in the process of being setup to lose some money, or

  2. Have already lost money by investing with the scammers, or

  3. Have already lost money by investing with the scammers and are in the process of being financial groomed to LOSE MORE OR ALL YOUR MONEY


If you're unsure about anything, and I mean anything, feel free to email me, Alex Green (apg@learnmoney.co.uk) and I will tell you if you're being setup or not.

  • I don't charge
  • I will never ask you for money, and
  • I have nothing to sell you

Helping you to keep hold of your money and stop it being stolen by the scammers is my motivation.

Update: Read this it's excellent - How to spot an investment scam

Stop and THINK!
Grandly named companies do not call offering easy money investment ideas unless they're running a scam..........
Special Message for Singaporeans


  • Singaporeans seem for some reason to be very susceptible to offshore property scams
  • The country seems to attract the worst of the European property scammers, mainly British I'm sorry to add
  • Collectively I reckon hundreds of millions of USD have been lost over the last several years by investors believing the easy money stories they're spun
  • Good property investments in the UK or Brazil are never offered to the general public in Singapore (just as much as good property investments in Singapore are never offered to the general public of the UK or Brazil)
  • If you're from Singapore and reading this, please get real, please don't invest in (worthless) foreign property via a flashy company with a flashy address hosting such things as Casino nights and free shopping vouchers UNLESS YOU DO SOME SERIOUS INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
  • I can't tell you how many emails I get from Singaporeans all asking for help on some mad-cap foreign property scheme they've invested in, normally in the UK or Brazil (earn an easy 20% a year yield, just sign up and pay your money!)
  • Sadly, for anyone that's already invested I have to inform them the money has been lost and they've been scammed

Remember, I can only help people keep hold of their money BEFORE they invest.


If you're unsure about anything, and I mean anything, feel free to email me, Alex Green (apg@learnmoney.co.uk) and I will tell you if you're being setup or not.

  • I don't charge
  • I will never ask you for money, and
  • I have nothing to sell you

Helping you to keep hold of your money and stop it being stolen by the scammers is my motivation.


Stop Press

WARNING: Worthless Land for Sale in -

  • Brazil (this is the big one right now)
  • Turkey
  • Cyprus
  • Ukraine
  • Caymen Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Indonesia

New Warning: Watch out for land for sale in sunny countries that comes with planning permission.

The scam right now is to sell these at greatly inflated prices, perhaps 1,000%-5,000% over their true value.

How can a company get away with this?

Simple, because most of the buyers won't do their own independent research instead relying on the charming salesmen for all their information and help...........



  • The Land Banking scammers have generally shifted tactics and now tend to promote offshore land as 'incredible investments'
  • If it's Brazil, Turkey or Cyprus it will probably be holiday development land
  • Coconut plantations in Brazil is also one of the recent cons
  • If Ukraine it's likely to be farmland
  • Teak plantations in Costa Rica and Biofuel land in Indonesia
  • Please stop and think if you get called by these scammers because you're being setup with 100% certainty to buy something for say £10,000 that's probably worth nearer £100 (if indeed the scammers actually sell you the land, ever heard of fake paperwork?)
  • DO NOT TRUST ANYBODY OR ANY FIRM THAT COLD CALLS YOU ABOUT AN INVESTMENT (land, stocks & shares, futures, options, Carbon Credits, Gold mines or Diamonds (this is a new scam)
  • Also, if the cold caller ever mentions the phrase 'alternative investments' they're going to try and set you up...
  • 99.9% of cold callers are scammers and thieves, however polite, charming and knowledgeable they come across

If you're unsure about anything, and I mean anything, feel free to email me, Alex Green (apg@learnmoney.co.uk) and I will tell you if you're being setup or not.

  • I don't charge
  • I will never ask you for money, and
  • I have nothing to sell you

Helping you to keep hold of your money and stop it being stolen by the scammers is my motivation.

Stop and THINK!
Strangers do not call offering easy money investment ideas unless they're running a scam..........
New Warning - For South Africans


  • South African companies are now in on the Land Banking Scam
  • Same crap - cold calling, setting up a stand at a shopping Mall etc all saying how easy money can be made when the UK land is rezoned for planning
  • Chances are you'll be told that UK law has recently been changed, before only 'UK Developers' were able to buy and develop land, now anyone can - THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE - REPEAT OUTRIGHT LIE
  • If you're South African and are thinking of buying a plot of land (usually priced around £20,000) then only do so if you like to get conned and lose your money
  • Sorry to be harsh, I'm being cruel to be kind :)
  • Note: The salesmen will be good, they'll have an answer to every question you might ask but the reality is this - if you're not willing to do your own independent research you will lose all your money

STAY AWAY FROM FIRMS SELLING SMALL PLOTS OF LAND IN THE UK

As ever I'm here to help so please email me if you're unsure about anything. I'll make sure you don't get conned by the land banking scammers.

Alex Green - apg@learnmoney.co.uk


New Warning - Google Stuffing


  • I don't know what the correct term is but I call it Google stuffing
  • Scam companies generally don't like Google because people talk and as they're scammers, the talk is normally bad for business
  • So what they do is buy tens if not hundreds of domains and design very simple websites relating to the company
  • These then take up all the room in the Google listings, so (hopefully) relegating all that pesky scam talk to pages 3 and 4+ (most people never look past page 2)
  • For example, say you have a scam company selling plots of land in North East Brazil that will 'soon' rocket in value, the company is perhaps called CambridgeRealityInc.com
  • The scammers behind the company will buy and list on Google -
    • CambridgeRealityOffers.com
    • CambridgeRealityInvestments.com
    • CambridgeRealityOffshore.com
    • CambridgeRealityPensions.com
    • CambridgeRealityBrazil.com
    • CambridgeRealityOverseas.com
    • and so on
    • And of course all those domains will have been registered in the last year...Check here
    • There will also be countless Facebook/Linkedin and other fluff type pages in Google's index as well as some bogus press releases on sites like www.prweb.com

  • Click on any of the sites and you'll see the same sort of crap, copy/pasted articles and links that basically tell you nothing
  • Ask yourself this very important question -

Do you know of any legitimate companies doing this?

The answer is of course no, which is why if you come across a company using this tactic is not 'are you being setup' it's YOU ARE BEING SETUP.

Folks, be very careful out there as these sorts of Property - Shares - Wine - Carbon Credit scams have been exploding over the last few years.

I have received many emails from people all asking for information on some company or the other and ALL OF THE OFFERS have been from scammers. There is NOT ONE company I've seen that is legit. ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN WORKING A SCAM....

Please email me if you're unsure about anything as I can easily spot a scam. I don't charge, I have nothing to sell you, and will never ask for money.

Making sure your money remains yours and out of the hands of the scammers is my sole motivation.

Alex Green - apg@learnmoney.co.uk


New Warning - For Chinese

Worthless swampland in the
Cayman Islands for sale with NO second passport included

  • Sadly for the Chinese their passport is not so good for travelling - all sorts of visas need to be applied for and are often hard to get
  • The (worthless) land scammers therefore eye an opportunity
  • So the Chinese are now being targeted (in China) by the fraudsters
  • The deal is simple -
  • Buy land in small countries/territories
  • Investment/ownership means qualifying for a second passport
  • The passport will enable the owner to travel the world visa free with far less hassle than a Chinese one
  • Swampland, sorry I mean 'much sort after development land' in the Cayman Islands is one such country where the scammers are targeting
  • If you're Chinese and are thinking of buying land with the main selling point being a 2nd passport then watch it, I reckon there's a 99% chance you're being setup to -

a) Buy worthless swampland, and
b) Receive no 2nd passport

As ever I'm here to help so please email me if you're unsure about anything. I'll make sure you don't get conned by the land/2nd passport scammers.

Alex Green - apg@learnmoney.co.uk

The sad truth is the plots of land sold by Land Banking firms have about a 1% chance of receiving planning permission over the next 20+ years. Although of course the land banking firm will give the impression that planning permission will soon be granted.

Land banking companies started appearing around the year 2000 and most if not all of these firms follow a similar business plan -

Think - chances are you're being setup to buy worthless land which has zero chance of ever getting planning permission.
  • Agricultural land is presently priced around £3,000 an acre
  • The land banking company will approach a farmer or landowner and offer to buy 5-20 acres at well over market rate which normally means they strike a deal
  • The company will then split the land up into smaller parcels and try to sell them for around £7,500 - £25,000 per plot (1 plot is usually 0.1 of an acre)
But why would investors buy at such inflated prices - simple, because the land banking company will have convinced them that planning permission is sure to be granted within say 5 years and then the plots will have risen in value by 200% - 500%.
Do your own independent research - It's absolutely critical

One of the main reasons people fall victim to the land banking companies is because they don't do their own independent research and instead rely on the salesmen's advice. See secret number 2 - Do your own research - it won't take long which is part of this site's 10 Secrets to Good Personal Finance.

But relying on the salesmen to offer unbiased advice is the worst mistake a potential investor can make.

Think about it - it's in the best interests of these people to talk up the value of their land (remember, they already own it) to make the maximum profit. And if that means promoting half-truths and possibly saying outright lies to make the sale then so be it.

What's really scary about any potential lying is most companies will have a smallprint clause in their contract, perhaps similar to 'the company is not responsible for anything said by its salesmen during the sales process'.

Research advice

If I were thinking about buying some land I wouldn't listen to a word the salesmen say as their advice will be extremely biased into making the sale. Instead I'd contact some or all of the following:

  • The local Parish Council - Find who to speak to via the local council's website. Ask them about the land, its chances of being granted planning permission and if anything is known about the land banking company

  • The local press - Land banking firms usually buy Green Belt land which they try to convince their clients has a good chance of being rezoned. As it's green belt land you can be sure the locals will be up in arms about it being developed and will protest. The local press are sure to pick up on this story so check with them

  • The local estate/land agent - Try to a speak to a land agent rather than an estate agent and ask them about the land in question. Find out if they have any views on the piece of land and the land banking company. It is highly likely that they know all about the plot and its chances of ever getting planning permission

  • The local council - contact the planning department and ask them what they know about the land. Often they will already have issued a statement usually along the lines of ''The prospects of the land's greenbelt status changing in the foreseeable future is highly unlikely' which is a polite way of saying 'no chance'
And finally use some common sense - never buy any land or property that you haven't physically seen. Yes, it sounds obvious but you'd be surprised how many people buy from pictures or a Google map.
Be wary - you're talking to professional salesmen

Probably your contact at the land banking company will have zero qualifications relating to property and the planning process. He will however be a skilled salesmen whether selling land, time shares, double glazing or sunbeds. The tricks and strategies for hard selling don't really change from product to product.

Also, bear in mind that it will be hard to catch the salesmen out as they'll all be talking from preprepared telephone scripts. So if you ask them an awkward question they'll have a standard reply ready and it is designed to sound plausible.

10 signs you're being setup to buy very expensive land
Some more tips to help you keep hold of your cash and not fall prey to a land banking firm. If the company in question shares any of the similarities or points below then I'd strongly advise you not to get involved.
  • Great looking website - Good, professionally designed website and expensive glossy brochures

  • Flashy company name - Often a flashy sounding name like 'The Consolidated Real Estate Partnership' - many land banking firms love to use the word 'partnership' in the company's name

  • Website that tells you nothing- Look hard at the information on the website and it's odds-on it will tell you nothing about the company or its people. Te reason is simple - there is nothing to tell you about the company because it has no history so chances are all you'll see is official government press releases about how much housing is needed for the country etc

  • Pushy salesmen - Extremely polite and seemingly knowledgeable salesmen. Although they can turn nasty if they spend time with you on the phone but then you decline their offer to invest). Plus, once they think you might be interested they will probably call many times a week

  • Reserved plots of land - Very quick to say they'll 'reserve' you a plot of land often for as little as £100 - £500

  • The price - The plots cost between £5,000 - £25,000 but chances are you'll be told that all the cheaper plots have been sold (they've got to create an illusion that this is a hot deal and you've got to be quick)

  • Millions of new houses needed in the UK - On their website plenty of talk and news reports about how the UK needs 100,000s if not more houses every year - many of the sites make this point time and time again almost to the point of brainwashing

  • Marketed to the man-in-the-street - Work out who the website is marketed to, ie large property investors/companies, institutions, or the man-in-the-street. If it's the latter then beware because sophisticated property developers and investors certainly would laugh at the company's claims

  • Plenty of happy smiley people - Does the website have lots of flashy photos of smiley happy people, houses being built or architects hard at work - if so it's a big red flag

  • Easy money for the little guy - The websites often promote that in the past only the very rich could make money out of property but now everyone can, including you!

  • Does the company's address stack up - Many land banking firms don't want their clients to know where they're actually located so use a mail drop as their official address. So Google the address and if other companies come up in the results with the same address it's more than likely a mail drop. And this is yet another big red flag as respectable companies don't use mail drops
Watch out for fake 'Development Plans'
One trick the land bank scammers love to play is the fake development plan.

So they produce images such as below showing how a development might look with plenty of plots already sold and some more to buy.

But it's all fantasy and complete rubbish. The sole aim is to try to fool the prospective purchaser into thinking the plots of land are worth something.

So if you happen to be talking to a firm about buying a plot of land and they produce something like this then you're being setup to buy worthless land with 100% probability.

  • Look below for another 'plan'
  • Note how the plots are so close together, basically extremely unrealistic when viewed in the context of modern day developments and planning guidelines
  • The real reason of course why the plots are so tightly packed is pure greed as the companies can earn more by selling more (worthless) plots.....
  • If you ever see a plan like this or the one above - YOU'RE BEING SETUP TO BUY WORTHLESS LAND THAT HAS NO CHANCE OF GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION
  • The sellers of course will refute this claim but as they're the present owners (they'll say they're not, but that's just another lie) why sell land to you and let you make all the money, why not keep the land themselves, apply for planning and then make a fortune?
  • The reason as I've said countless times in this article is because the land has no chance of getting planning that is just the hook to scam people
The Asian community is often targeted

For some reason the land banking companies have aggressively targeted the Asian community (in the UK).

There are also many reports of land banking firms targeting investors in the Far East (specifically Malaysia) and the Middle East, (specifically Dubai). I would think they're trying to sell UK land plots to a combination of UK expats and foreign nationals.

Common Sense alert -

Often the best way to shield yourself and your money from scammers is to use nothing but common sense.

So if you're located outside of the UK common sense suggests buying potential development land from people and companies you don't know without ever visiting the site in question is pure madness.

Land Banking Summary

For most investors dealing with a land banking firm will result in them losing the majority if not all their money. And I can't really put it simpler than that.

But readers can easily protect themselves from being taken in by following the guidelines and advice offered on this page.

Finally, pay special attention to the fact that in an extremely unusual move the Government agency, The Land Registry, has published a report warning about the dangers of buying potential development land from land banking firms.

Further research

Should you want to do further research into the land banking industry check out the following links:

Got to Love It

LearnMoney.co.uk 1 : Scammers 0

This is an email I received recently from a 'Simon P' and it's just what this article is designed to do -

Dear Learn Money

I am just sending this e-mail to thank you as i am convinced that your website could well have saved me from being robbed out of £10,000.

After having dealt with a land banking firm, I was almost bullied by kindness into buying a plot of land by a salesman in one of these land banking firms. The experience was bizarre to say the least.

To begin with he gave this full on flash pitch about how big the firm was, he then asked had i ever heard of certain aspects of the economy which of course i said no. This then gave him a reason to explain all this mumbo jumbo about the value of property and so on, there is no doubt these people are good they are the type that can talk for Britain and no doubt would sell you anything.

They also constantly address you by your first name as tough they knew you all your life and are extremely polite. The main issue during the call was trying to persuade me to send them money for the promise of a big return yet it was never explained exactly how this return would materialise.

They said they would send me on information which i agreed to which in hindsight was a massive mistake as this was taken that i was definitely interested, as they suggested that i send money that day as to not miss out on this hot deal. Well the information they sent looked the part no doubt but on closer inspection it had a clause in the small print that said "the land banking firm is not responsible for anything said by the salesman during the sales process"

just like you explained on you website" i cannot recall the rest of the details of the small print but it seemed completely at odds with what the salesman had given during the flash sales pitch, I'm no investment expert but i could smell a rat straight away.

Well after doing a bit of research i found your website, which i reckon saved me i was completely stunned as i must admit during the sales process i was almost taken in, I was left feeling that these people were depending on me and that i was letting them down and that i was an idiot for not investing. Your website ticked every box from polite but pushy sales men to mail drops the whole nine yards, I felt like you had been talking to the same sales man.

Well when i spoke to them again i told them that this kind of investment did not interest me i was told that my venture was already in process and was making money, he then said that he could reserve it for me which i refused to entertain, despite this they never offered any pictures or details of what i was actually buying well with my patience well worn i told them at least 4 times that this type of investment would not interest me.

Thinking this was the end of it i get another call a while later with the firm calling to "update" me on their new plots, I was absolutely seething with rage i felt that i was being stalked and bullied into investing, I never met people so hell bent on getting me to persuade with my cash, for me it verified everything that you had on your website and its for that reason that i send you my gratitude.

Many thanks

Simon P

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