20 Telltale Signs That Someone Is Pretending to Be Rich

The image of wealth often takes center stage in today’s society. Because of this, many strive to showcase affluence—even if it’s beyond their means. Our list dives deep into clues and certain behaviors that’ll help you realize whether or not you’re dealing with a genuinely wealthy individual or someone who’s just pretending. By understanding them, we’re positive you’ll gain a clearer perspective on who you interact with!

They Talk Constantly About How Much Money They Have

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Truly wealthy people rarely talk about how much money they have. Based on experience, once other people know they’re rich, everyone starts wanting a piece. They harass people into investing in businesses, ask for donations, and more.

They Brag About Where They Have Been

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Really wealthy people are jet-setters. They travel the globe and usually have multiple homes in different parts of the world. However, they are low-key and don’t brag about things. For them, this is normal and isn’t something to be publicized.

They Are Always Trying to Impress People

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Rich people know their worth, so they don’t need to constantly socialize to impress people and show them how wealthy they are. Dave Ramsey, a personal finance icon, was quoted by Yahoo Finance, saying, “People that achieve that layer of wealth, that $1 to $10 million, the way they did it is, they didn’t do it for you. They’re not mad at you, but they don’t care what you think. They were not living their life to impress others.”

They Prefer Designer Clothes and Brand Names Over Financial Literacy

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People who are faking their wealth or are not as wealthy as millionaires and billionaires are all wasting their money on designer clothes. They fail to actually become affluent because of their skewed priorities. Instead of getting themselves educated financially, they choose things that will bring them instant gratification. In fact, almost 40% of Americans overspend on clothes, shoes, and accessories just to impress others.

They Can’t Talk Significantly About Wealth Building

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Because of their skewed priorities, people who are faking their wealth aren’t able to share their knowledge—or lack thereof—on wealth building. This is precisely because they don’t know how to build their wealth themselves!

They Are Always Giving Excuses

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This typically happens when a fake rich person is with a group. For example, they eat a meal together, and it’s time to pay; a fake rich person will always have an excuse not to pay for their share—be it leaving their wallet, needing to transfer some funds first, or more. Once in a while, this could happen to rich people, too. But if it’s always taking place, then it’s a clear sign that someone is fooling you into thinking they’re wealthy.

They Constantly Name-Drop

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Some people feel the need to express their connections with others to be taken seriously or to be given special privileges. However, people with true wealth don’t need to do this at any point. Their names are usually enough to get them into even the most sought-after restaurants! When you name-drop, you’re trying to make yourself look good and gain social status.

They Are Always Jealous

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Those who fake their wealth always want what real rich people have. However, unlike them, wealthy people don’t care about what others think, say, or do. They have their own styles and preferences, and they don’t get jealous because they know they can get what they want with a snap of a finger.

Their Spending Is Irregular

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A big clue that’ll help you figure out if a person is trying to fake their wealth or not is the consistency of the items they own. For example, a person faking their wealth will most likely have a couple of expensive branded items like an earring or a watch. However, when you check the rest of their things, they’re possibly counterfeit. One could also look at people’s routines and spending habits—do they shop at places like Erewhon or use coupons for their daily necessities?

They Chase a Quick Buck

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There’s a high chance that wealthy people have already established multiple income streams, with most of them being passive. So, they aren’t really interested in making a quick buck. It’s different for people who are faking their wealth, though. They’ll most probably jump at any opportunity to make money so they can find their spending habits.

They Are Friends With a Lot of Other Fake Rich People

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There’s a famous saying that birds of the same feather flock together. So, if you know and have confirmed someone to be faking their wealth, and someone comes around and says they are friends with that person, then there’s a high chance they are faking their wealth, too.

They Don’t Have Savings

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Really wealthy people have enough money for both savings and investments. In fact, it’s not hard for them to save money because they usually have more than they need for their day-to-day lives. Medium says, “The ‘Fake Rich’ trend encourages young people to prioritize material possessions and appearances over financial stability and security, leading to further impulsive spending and financial instability.”

They Look at Price Tags

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This is another dead giveaway that the person you’re dealing with isn’t as rich as they seem. Millionaires, especially billionaires, have more than enough money to spend in a lifetime, so though they don’t boast about it, they typically don’t care about the price tag anymore. On the other hand, fake rich people try to flex and brag about their expensive purchases by repeatedly telling you how much they spent on something.

They Are Impulsive Purchasers

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Fake rich people don’t truly understand the value of money. Therefore, the moment they see something they like, they purchase it. This happens even when what they want to buy is beyond their means. Unfortunately, living beyond one’s means can harm one’s finances, resulting in one not having enough money to save or invest.

They Prioritize a Super Expensive Car Compared to a Better Home

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A car and a home are liabilities. They both depreciate in value over time. However, really wealthy individuals tend to invest more in their homes than their cars because, aside from the comfort it’ll bring their family if they have a house and a lot, the value of the lot will increase over time, making it an asset. It’s different for people faking their wealth, though, as they want to parade expensive cars around to flaunt their wealth.

They Post Jet Selfies

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Social media is a breeding ground for everything fake because it’s so easy to post something and make others believe something untrue. Recently, more and more influencers have been caught posing and posting photos of themselves in fake private jets to impress their followers. Nine, an Australian news website, reports, “Influencers can now book a set designed to look like the interior of a private jet so that they can show off their luxe jet-setting ways without having to do any of the expensive private travel.”

They Follow the Latest Trends

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People pretending to be wealthy are quick to adopt the latest trends. This is because they don’t want to miss out and view it as a way to flaunt their wealth to others. They want to appear as if they’re at the top of the food chain at all times.

They Prefer Material Things Over Experiences

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Truly wealthy people tend to spend more money on experiences like traveling. On the other hand, those who are facing it are more likely to purchase designer items. For them, these are things they can parade around and flaunt.

They Advertise Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

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Many people who pretend to be wealthier than they seem probably got rich through schemes like this. However, most of the time, these are scams. Additionally, earning money through this income stream simply isn’t sustainable.

They Bring Lots of Baggage When Traveling

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Packing and tugging baggage around can get exhausting, so really wealthy people typically don’t bring a lot of stuff with them when they travel. They usually only carry a day bag or a carry-on because they can either buy more clothes at their destination or already have a closet full of clothes waiting for them.

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.