SEC Issues an Investor Alert about Digital Asset and “Crypto” Investment Scams!

10 September 2021 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF) issued an investor alert to “remind investors to watch out for investment schemes involving digital assets and “Crypto.” Fraudsters continue to exploit the rising popularity of digital assets to lure retail investors into scams, often leading to devastating losses.”  The September 1, 2021 Investor Alert was entitled “Digital Asset and “Crypto” Investment Scams – Investor Alert” coincided with the news release about a lawsuit and my blog that the SEC files suit for a $2 BILLION fraud by global crypto lending platform!.  The Investor Alert included these red flags of fraud:

“Guaranteed” high investment returns.  Promises of high investment returns with little or no risk are a classic warning sign of fraud.  Fraudsters may post fabricated historical returns on their websites showing high investment returns.

Unlicensed/unregistered sellers.  Unlicensed, unregistered sellers commit much of the securities fraud targeting retail investors in the U.S.  Check out the background (including license and registration status) of anyone offering you an investment in securities using the search tool on Investor.gov.

Skyrocketing account values.  Depictions of investment accounts rapidly increasing in value and providing large returns are often fake.  This is a tactic fraudsters use to entice investors with the prospect of great wealth.

Sounds too good to be true.  If an investment “opportunity” sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Remember that the potential for high investment returns usually involves high risk.

Fake Testimonials.  Also, never rely solely on testimonials in making an investment decision.  Fraudsters sometimes pay people – for example, actors to pose as ordinary people turned millionaires, social media influencers, and celebrities – to tout an investment on social media or in a video.

Please stay safe and invest cautiously!

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