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WARNING: Fake Sykes Scammers Want Your Money

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/8/2021 14 min read

I got so mad I wanted to SCREAM.

Recently, someone contacted my team asking for their money back. But here’s the thing…

They hadn’t purchased any of my DVDs. They weren’t part of the Trading Challenge. As a matter of fact, they hadn’t spent a single penny with me.

It gets worse. You might be thinking I was upset at this person and their claims. Nope. I felt sorry for them.


Because before the person in question got in touch with my team, they’d been conned out of several thousand dollars.

It all started when they were contacted on social media by someone claiming to be me. After the poser scammed the unwary victim, he disappeared. Never to be seen again…

Finagling Fraudsters Pose as Teachers

They come at you with a fake account in my name, say they’re me, and then do everything they can to take your hard-earned cash.

These immoral scam artists deserve nothing less than the full brunt of the law to come crashing down on them.

In the meantime, beware. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

Needless to say, the scam victim was distraught. One of my team members was nearly in tears because the victim was in tears. It was awful. For privacy reasons I won’t name the victim, but I want you to understand how serious this is.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened. But it seems to be happening more often. My team is already working hard to stop the scammers.

Click on the link below to watch a very important 7 minute video. (Video opens in a new tab.) Then continue reading this post so you know what a scam attempt looks like.  

Scam Alert Video Presentation

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Bottom line: I’ve had enough. Scammers, pay close attention to these words … I’m on a mission to out you crooks once and for all. I’m gonna expose you and your methods so you can’t prey on innocent people anymore.

Now I want to give you some ideas … some red flags to tip you off to potential scams.

don't ignore red flags

Scam Alert Red Flags: Conversation With a Con Artist

Below is an excerpt of a direct message (DM) exchange on Instagram. The victim was targeted because he follows me on social media. Luckily, this follower knew what to look for. Be aware of what cybersecurity specialists call spear-phishing and social engineering.

The conversation was taken from actual screenshots, some of which I’ve included. I’ll point out the red flags along the way so you know what to look for, as well.

If you ever get a private DM from someone saying they’re me it should instantly raise…

Scam Alert Red Flag #1: Private Chat Invitations

To be clear: I don’t have a private chat page. As a matter of fact, I will never DM you. I hardly have time to DM my family, friends, and members of my team … let alone students. Students get my attention on webinars and in my chat rooms. That’s about it.

Here’s how the conversation played out…

[scammer] Hello. Welcome to my private chat page. How are you doing today?

[victim] Cool. How are you?

[scammer] Am great. Where are you from?

[victim] From US. Live in UK.

[scammer] Okay. Have you ever traded and earn some profit before?

[victim] Only paper traded so far.

The victim, at this point, thought I’d contacted him. He thought it was pretty cool he’d been invited to my ‘private chat page.’

Scam Alert Red Flag #2: Forex, Bitcoin, Options, and Money Management

I don’t trade forex. Nor do I mine bitcoin for people. I’m neither an options trader or options trading teacher. If someone tries to tell you I do anything other than penny stock trading education, alarm bells should ring in your head. Don’t give them a penny.

In the next part of the exchange, the victim knew enough to question the forex trading claim.

[scammer] Oh. I see. Would you want to trade in forex and earn huge profit daily?

[victim] You trade forex? I thought you were penny stock trader.

[scammer] I trade forex and also I mine Bitcoin for people. I can help you earn real big in forex and crypto trade.

[victim] Oh. Your blog says you trade penny stocks. How can you help?

As the conversation continues, notice how the scammer works to keep the things moving along and overcome objections.

[scammer] Penny stocks and forex trade. I can help you if you are ready.

[victim] I see. Well, I’ve been saving to fund a trading account.

[scammer] Very well then I can help you kick off. How much have you saved so far?

[victim] A few thousand.

[scammer] How much exactly?

[victim] £2800 roughly. Been paper trading while I save.

Scam Alert Red Flag #3: The Platform Change or … “Hey, Step Into My Office”

Watch how the scammer tries to get the victim to move to a different platform to continue the conversation. In this case, it was WhatsApp. But it could be any platform where they can avoid getting caught.

The target in this chat knew by now he was dealing with a scammer. He went along with things for a while, just for fun. As soon as this exchange ended, he contacted my team…

[scammer] Okay […] that’s still okay…you can start up with something even lower than that.

[victim] Yeah, but I’m practicing the patterns you teach on your blog.

[scammer] Send me your WhatsApp number now so I can add you up and we chat better over there. So I can teach you all you need to know.

Scam Alert Red Flag #4: The Scarcity Principle

Look, scarcity is used in legitimate marketing. Heck, I use it. For example, I don’t let just anyone join the Trading Challenge. You have to go through an interview process. Not everyone makes the cut.

Here’s another example: we have a limited number of seats for my Trader & Investor Summit every year. Once the tickets are sold out … that’s it.

So you see, scarcity is nothing new. But scammers hit you with “be fast because I have so many people I chat with.” Sorry, that’s just BS.

[victim] I almost joined your trading challenge. Thinking of pennystocking silver subscription first. Is this for trading challenge?

[scammer] This is for a full package of all I do…. Send me your whatsapp number now so I can add you up now. You need to be fast because I have so many people I chat with.

[victim] I see. Which is forex/crypto/penny stocks?

Like I said, I don’t have time to chat with potential students. I wish I did. If you want to chat … join the Trading Challenge and hit me up in the chat room. Better yet, become one of my top students.

Only after you apply for the Trading Challenge will one of my team contact you. The conversation continued and raised…

Scam Alert Red Flag #5: You Should Be So Lucky

Notice how the scammer tries to make the victim feel both lucky to be in direct contact and … beneath him.

I don’t talk to my students like this. Yes, I’ve been known to be harsh on a webinar. It’s called a pattern interrupt and it helps students break dangerous thought patterns. Thought patterns that keep them in the wrong mindset to be a self-sufficient trader.

But this is different. This is an air of arrogance meant to lull the mark into feeling like he’d better act fast.

[scammer] Yes. All of it.

[victim] I was under the impression I had to apply to the challenge and someone from your team would call. Where are you now?

[scammer] You should be very happy that you are communicating privately with me now so you are lucky.

[victim] Most definitely. Exciting.

[scammer] You still haven’t sent me your WhatsApp number…I will go off soon now.

The exchange continues…

[victim] Don’t really use WhatsApp. What can we do?

[scammer] Quickly download WhatsApp on your phone now, register it and send me the number you used in registering it so I can add you up right now. Do that fast now.

[victim] Why WhatsApp? What do I need to do to study with you? Is this how all your top students started?

[scammer] Omg

[scammer] Listen, you need to understand that I am a very busy business man and I am not always here…that’s why I’m asking you for your whatsapp number…so if you are not serious or ready it’s up to you.

[victim] What’s your best forex setup? Did you trade today? How many stock trades did you take today?

[scammer] I trade everyday and am too busy to be chatting with just only you…


[scammer] I have so many people I chat and trade with…and they are all waiting for me.

[victim] But I’m going to be your next millionaire student. Did you see Bohen today?

[scammer] You can only be my next millionaire student when you are serious. I don’t work with people who are really not serious.

[victim] Did you trade $TTCM today? I’m totally serious. 100% dedicated.

Ultimately this led to…

Scam Alert Red Flag #6: Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the victimizer sows seeds of doubt in the victim. Check it out…

[scammer] You are asking me lots of private questions and I don’t take that from anyone.

[victim] But you are asking me to give you my number. Where are you?

[scammer] You have a nice privilege of chatting with me and you are blowing it up, if I leave here … I won’t be able to chat with you here again. I am asking you to send me your WhatsApp number because I chat all my clients on whatsapp … so it’s for your own good.

The exchange continued, but you get the idea.

How To Protect Yourself From False Stock Gurus and Con Artists

The above conversation is real. It went along for a while longer, and the ‘victim’ had a little fun with the scammer. Unfortunately, the scammers get away with this all too often. They ask for money and some unsuspecting person gives it to them thinking I’ll make them a millionaire.

  • I will never ask you for money. 
  • I will never ask you for investment.
  • And I won’t offer to manage your money.

I am an educator. That’s it. No forex, no options, and no crypto.

They Who Laugh Last Have the Last Laugh

Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. I want you to be successful. My mission is to help people. These criminals are using my name to scam unsuspecting people out of their hard-earned money.

Contact My Team

Please be safe. Please, please don’t fall prey to these crooks. If you’re ever contacted by someone claiming to be me, contact admin@timothysykes.com. Together we can let these jerks know we won’t stand for any more of their BS.

Verify Social Media Accounts

I use verified accounts on social media. If you EVER receive something from an account that looks like it’s from me but isn’t verified … it’s NOT from me.

Here’s Twitter’s official Verified Accounts FAQ page. There you’ll find all sorts of information about verified accounts, what they look like, and how to report a fake.

And here’s Facebook’s Verified Profile information page.

Remember, I won’t contact you via direct messaging. Should anyone contact you claiming to be me, get in touch via the contact page and we’ll get the fake page or account taken down.

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Timothy Sykes

Tim Sykes is a penny stock trader and teacher who became a self-made millionaire by the age of 22 by trading $12,415 of bar mitzvah money. After becoming disenchanted with the hedge fund world, he established the Tim Sykes Trading Challenge to teach aspiring traders how to follow his trading strategies. He’s been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNN, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and more. He’s also an active philanthropist and environmental activist, a co-founder of Karmagawa, and has donated millions of dollars to charity. Read More

* Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work. There are inherent risks involved with investing in the stock market, including the loss of your investment. Past performance in the market is not indicative of future results. Any investment is at your own risk. See Terms of Service here

The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses.

A 2000 study called “Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors” evaluated 66,465 U.S. households that held stocks from 1991 to 1996. The households that traded most averaged an 11.4% annual return during a period where the overall market gained 17.9%. These lower returns were attributed to overconfidence.

A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow?” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006. It looked at the ongoing performance of day traders in this sample, and found that 97% of day traders can expect to lose money from trading, and more than 90% of all day trading volume can be traced to investors who predictably lose money. Additionally, it tied the behavior of gamblers and drivers who get more speeding tickets to overtrading, and cited studies showing that legalized gambling has an inverse effect on trading volume.

A 2019 research study (revised 2020) called “Day Trading for a Living?” observed 19,646 Brazilian futures contract traders who started day trading from 2013 to 2015, and recorded two years of their trading activity. The study authors found that 97% of traders with more than 300 days actively trading lost money, and only 1.1% earned more than the Brazilian minimum wage ($16 USD per day). They hypothesized that the greater returns shown in previous studies did not differentiate between frequent day traders and those who traded rarely, and that more frequent trading activity decreases the chance of profitability.

These studies show the wide variance of the available data on day trading profitability. One thing that seems clear from the research is that most day traders lose money .

Millionaire Media 66 W Flagler St. Ste. 900 Miami, FL 33130 United States (888) 878-3621 This is for information purposes only as Millionaire Media LLC nor Timothy Sykes is registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Citations for Disclaimer

Barber, Brad M. and Odean, Terrance, Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors. Available at SSRN: “Day Trading for a Living?”

Barber, Brad M. and Lee, Yi-Tsung and Liu, Yu-Jane and Odean, Terrance and Zhang, Ke, Learning Fast or Slow? (May 28, 2019). Forthcoming: Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535636”

Chague, Fernando and De-Losso, Rodrigo and Giovannetti, Bruno, Day Trading for a Living? (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423101”