Recently I received a phone call, on the back of somehow getting on a mailing list for film investments. The caller was inviting me to invest in a Biblical production – Mary Mother of Christ, the prequel to the Passion of the Christ. It called for a minimum investment of £5K – and whilst it promised high returns, there was no guarantee of getting your original investment back if the movie didn’t go as well as expected.
The emailed information came from someone at ‘spicefactoryfilms.com’, but when I tried to access that website, it asked me for a user name and password, so it looks like the domain has only been registered so it can be used as part of an email address.
There is a spicefactory.co.uk, which seems legit; and indeed sports the same logo as was used on the email I received – but therefore, why wasn’t the email from somebody @spicefactory.co.uk?
It appears the owners of spicefactory.co.uk are based in Brighton – and the email I was sent included a Brighton phone number – but again this was different from either of the two numbers given on the contact page of the spicefactory.co.uk website. I could have gone to the trouble of phoning one of the website numbers to see if the two companies were linked, but by this time I’d made my decision not to invest.
Apart from anything else, the website made no mention of the forthcoming film – and the few links to publicity articles (including one on Channel 4’s website which didn’t work) were from 2004/5.
There are two points I took from this; the first was confirmation of the need to do your homework (or ‘due dilligance’ as they say in the business world) before blindly leaping into anything. The second is to consider your current position – yes I could have found the money if I’d wanted to – but is it money I could happily afford to write off if this was a scam or the investment came to nothing? Absolutely not.
Will I kick myself if I don’t invest and the movie does really well and this opportunity was legitimate? No – because I’m happy with the decision I’ve made, based on my current financial circumstances.
There will come a time soon when I will have money I can afford to take a calculated risk with – and there will always be other investment opportunities out there offering equally tantalising potential returns.