Booby traps have been a part of war for centuries. They involve the setting of lures that the enemy hopes will attract their opponent. When the soldier touches the lure, the hidden bomb or other device goes off, killing or maiming the unwary soldier.
Now here’s the thing about booby traps. The devices themselves are often simple. But the logic behind them is cunning. In Vietnam, for example, the Vietcong noticed that American soldiers liked to kick empty soda cans lying on the ground. Soon, they began leaving devices in cans so they’d explode when kicked. Yet U.S. soldiers kept kicking cans.
Why discuss booby traps? Because we believe many financial professionals today engage in dangerous, noncompliant behavior that could literally blow up in their faces. Like American troops in Vietnam, they kick the same cans down the path, even though the industry environment has changed. They keep committing the same lies, errors and omissions, and shortcuts. But the problem is, kicking those cans will likely trigger “explosions” today because regulators have much less tolerance for can kickers.
What kind of booby traps are we talking about? There are four main types:
Solicitation traps: in connection with advertising or other prospect solicitation techniques.