15 Signs That Someone Is Just Pretending To Be Rich and How To Recognize “Fake Rich”

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Many people have bought into the idea that wealth equals better, and though it is nothing new, the need to “fake” wealth has only increased due to social media. It is not about exposing the “fake rich,” but if they insist on presenting themselves in a phony light, they are likely not easily trusted. So, here are some of the signs that will help you spot a person pretending to be rich, whether to boost their self-esteem or go viral. 

The logos 

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Celebrities usually get stuff for free to do their paparazzi walk and advertise a particular brand. Outside these arrangements, genuinely wealthy people avoid logos and opt for quiet luxury. If someone obsesses over brands, it could be a sign that they are faking it, not just to be rich, but actually buying fake items, like bags, watches, etc. 

Trend followers 


The truly wealthy ones are into timeless quality, but those pretending to be rich are constantly buying into the latest trends. It can be a new car, tech device, or fashion item. They are the ones waiting in lines for the latest iPhone, while the ones with real money have staffers dealing with these tedious tasks. 

Money talk 

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For the rich ones, talking about money is frowned upon. “Old money” families are particularly secretive about their wealth because flashing is considered tacky. However, those pretending to be rich are obsessed with talking about money without actually having financial literacy. 

Spending habits 

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Those who are only seemingly wealthy spend money as soon as they get it. They do not think about investing it because they feel the need to flash their wealth, whether with a brand-new T-shirt or a new car. This is not a sustainable way of living, and how people treat money can tell you a lot about their wealth. 

Sounding rich 


Rich people are direct and more focused on action than talk. It makes sense because time is money, which is most noticeable in office spaces. However, the “fake rich” will speak in circles, insert their purchases into every conversation, and talk about future deals without giving you any specifics. 

Taking a position 


Wealthy people have simple (work) titles. They are usually CEOs, general managers, Lords, founders, etc. But those faking to be rich use complicated job positions that almost sound made up. It is all about the packaging, and if it sounds “rich,” it is likely fake. There should be no shame in honest work, but no one said humans are perfect. 



Perhaps one of the most annoying things about those pretending to be rich is their almost constant name-dropping. Depending on the situation, they will find a way to mention they are close to some CEO’s brother or even tell the world they have Beyonce on speed dial. 

Working on “something” 


Instead of telling you what they do, the fake rich ones create a story around it. They are working on opening a gallery on the Upper East Side or establishing a charity to save people experiencing poverty, but they are always waiting for something. The Netflix show “Inventing Anna” can give you a great insight into how far people go to fake their wealth. 

Making connections 


The wealthy ones are usually distant, not unpleasant, but they know their place in society, and people need to earn their trust and respect to be a semi-regular part of the group. However, those pretending to be rich are usually social butterflies, constantly networking and trying to get people to like them only to expand their social circles. It looks like a forced and often pushy way to get to those with real money. 

Outdoing each other 


There is less visible competition about those faking to be rich, and it revolves around one-uping each other. If you are on their path, the fake rich ones will try to surpass your success by name-dropping or talking about their new car. The thing about the ultra-wealthy is that they get new vehicles all the time, so there is no need to mention it. However, it is not about the car; it is validation because pretending to be rich usually comes with the need to prove something to someone. 

No savings 


If someone pretends to be rich, they rarely have any savings. In fact, their lifestyle is likely funded by debt. They live like the majority, paycheck to paycheck, but savings are almost always impossible due to their spending. The truly wealthy people will rather discuss investments and financial opportunities than their spending. 



As we mentioned, celebrities often get sponsored by brands, restaurants, and travel agencies, so their social media photos look like ads because they are ads. In most cases, they are labeled as such. But, with those pretending to be rich, the oversharing is another proof they seek validation. They will tag everyone, add locations, and be overly generous with information. The truly wealthy ones are more secretive, and if they post, it usually makes them more money. 

Keeping up with the Joneses


The fake rich people are invested in having people admire them. Generally, truly wealthy people do not obsess over other people’s opinions of their status because they are secure in it. But those pretending to be loaded always have to compete with their peers’ social status, wealth, and possessions. 

Living arrangements 


One clear sign of true vs. fake wealth is not only the number of properties but the way they are decorated. Luxurious homes have neutral tons, customized furniture, and everything is functional. Fake rich are mostly about flashy things, with second-tier products and low-quality finishes. Some also include designer logos, and their art collections are usually non-existent. 

Restaurant manners 

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Those pretending to be rich will make a big deal about paying for everyone’s drinks or dinner. It will be a spectacle. Wealthy people simply give their credit cards, almost without anyone seeing them, and move on with the conversation. They are not trying to impress or give you a sense that you owe them. With those pretending to be rich, everything is a luxury, including paying at a restaurant. 

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.