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Investment Fraud: 22 Scams To Know of (and Avoid) Right Now

This article will review the most common types of investment fraud, how they work, and key warning signs to watch out for.

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      Where There's Money To Be Made, Scammers Aren't Far Behind

      As a decorated international athlete, David Joseph Bunevacz doesn’t fit the profile of the average con man. But in July 2022, the gold medal-winning decathlete was found guilty of investment fraud. Several of his cannabis-related companies were fronting a $28 million pyramid scheme [*].

      While Bunevacz now faces the prospect of spending 20 years in federal prison, the problem of investment fraud continues to surge. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that people have lost over $1 billion in cryptocurrency scams since 2021 — often via made-up “investment opportunities [*]."

      This article will review the most common types of investment fraud, how they work, and key warning signs to watch out for.


      What Is an Example of Investment Fraud?

      The most famous example of investment fraud involves Bernie Madoff [*]. The NASDAQ chairman executed the largest Ponzi scheme in history — a con that spanned at least 17 years and led to $170 billion in restitution. Madoff received a 150-year prison sentence for his crimes. 

      But investment scams have changed, especially as hedge funds and cryptocurrency exchanges explore new investment vehicles. For example, Virgil Sigma Fund LP and VQR Multistrategy Fund LP advertised arbitrage opportunities in crypto markets that embezzled over $54 million [*].

      Deceptive practices in financial markets can quickly wipe out your life savings — so it’s critical that you spot and avoid these investment scams.

      Take action: If you think you’ve been the victim of an investment scam, your bank account, email, and identity could be at risk. Try Aura’s identity theft protection free for 14 days to secure your identity and finances against scammers.

      22 Types of Investment Fraud (and How To Identify Them)

      1. Advance fee fraud
      2. Affinity fraud
      3. Binary options fraud
      4. Cryptocurrency fraud
      5. Fraudulent stock promotions
      6. Government impersonation
      7. High-yield investment programs
      8. Internet and social media fraud
      9. Microcap fraud
      10. Ponzi schemes
      11. Pre-IPO investment scams
      12. Prime bank investment scams
      13. Promissory note scams
      14. Pump-and-dump schemes
      15. Pyramid schemes
      16. Real estate scams
      17. Theft or misappropriation
      18. Broker embezzlement
      19. Hedge fund-related fraud
      20. Late-day trading
      21. Recovery room schemes
      22. Annuity fraud

      1. Advance fee fraud

      An advance fee scam promises victims a false sum of money or investment return once they pay an initial upfront fee. These fees are often described as tax refunds or commissions. Fraudsters convince you to set up wire payments, but they have no intention of providing a product or service in return. 

      The scam in real life: 

      A Missouri woman pretended to represent BB&T Corporation and offered people investment agreements that she claimed were sponsored by the U.S. Department of State [*].

      After delivering fraudulent receipts to victims, the Missouri woman collected over $7,500 in fees under false pretenses. The FBI investigated the case, and she now faces 20 years in prison if sentenced by a federal court judge.  

      How to spot the scam: 

      If the investment seems too good to be true, that’s usually a red flag. Look for these giveaways:

      • Upfront fees or dues
      • Unregistered brokers with no official paperwork
      • Unsolicited offers that offer above-market rates of return

      📚 Related: Someone Stole My Tax Refund Check! What Should I Do?

      2. Affinity fraud

      Affinity fraud scams target specific, identifiable groups — such as senior citizens, ethnic communities, or religious associations. Once con artists earn the group's trust, they convince members to engage in misleading financial schemes.  

      The scam in real life:

      About 400 Mennonite and Amish families lost a combined $59 million after promises of high returns [*]. Philip Elvin Riehl claimed that he would invest in local businesses on behalf of these families. In reality, he was simply a broker running an elaborate Ponzi scheme between lenders and borrowers.

      How to spot the scam:

      Affinity scams exploit the trust and kinship of the targeted group for illegal gain. These schemes share common warning signs:

      • New members of a group offering “no-risk” investments
      • Influential group members working with someone to promote investments
      • Group members name-dropping influential people in relation to some investment opportunity

      📚 Related: The 7 Biggest Scams Targeting Veterans & U.S. Military

      3. Binary options fraud

      A binary options contract automatically pays a fixed reward for a yes/no investment outcome. Fraudsters use binary options to create false or rigged contracts designed to steal your money — or even obtain enough information to steal your identity.  

      The scam in real life:

      A Florida judge ordered Ronald Montanoto pay $2.5 million for his role in a binary options scam in September 2021 [*]. Montano ran a fraudulent scheme to acquire investments from people for an alleged automated trading system he could use to help people profit from binary options. 

      How to spot the scam:

      If an online options platform offers no forms of authenticity, it is likely a binary options scam. Other glaring signs of fraud include:

      • Unlicensed options brokers that operate entirely online
      • Promotional contracts that offer unrealistic investment returns
      • Unsolicited options contracts delivered by outfits with no visible location or identity

      4. Cryptocurrency fraud

      The unregulated nature of blockchain-based digital currencies makes it easy for fraudsters to swindle victims without a trace. Romance scams, investment opportunities, or false coins and counterfeiting are common crypto schemes that are rife on social media platforms like Telegram.

      The scam in real life:

      Two New York siblings scammed 12,000investors through unregistered securities offerings [*]. False information about mining revenue from Ormeus Coin enabled the duo to steal more than $124 million. The siblings face securities fraud charges and up to 65 years in prison.   

      How to spot the scam:

      Cryptocurrency has limited regulatory restrictions. To stay safe, always be wary of the following:

      • Excessive marketing
      • Unnamed team members
      • Promises of guaranteed returns
      • Non-existent community support
      • Lack of transparency regarding coin governance 

      📚 Related: How To Tell if a Crypto Recovery Service Is a Scam

      5. Fraudulent stock promotions

      Fraudsters or company insiders may use newsletters or social media to promote financial instruments that they already hold. 

      By creating a buying frenzy, the scammers can sell their shares at an artificially high stock price, leaving unwitting investors with worthless stocks once the price plummets.  

      The scam in real life:

      Steven Gallagher created a stock promotion account on Twitter to pump over-the-counter (OTC) penny stocks [*]. Using false information to lure new investors into buying the risky assets, Gallagher secretly sold his holdings to net over $1 million in profits. He now faces several charges that could result in more than 25 years in prison. 

      How to spot the scam:

      When researching possible investment opportunities, exercise caution if you notice the following: 

      • Advertisements claiming insider information
      • Time-sensitive offers that pressure you into buying
      • Unsolicited stock recommendations on social media, in newsletters, or via other online content

      6. Government impersonation fraud

      Bad actors claim that they are registered securities authorities or investment professionals to convince victims to purchase unlicensed stock offers.

      Impersonators will go so far as to spoof authentic credentials and provide fraudulent documents from legitimate organizations to fleece investors. 

      The scam in real life: 

      The Department of Justice announced conspiracy charges against 10 foreign nationals engaged in an international investment impersonation scheme [*].

      The scammers posed as employees of various New York investment firms and fabricated the trappings of real investment opportunities. Victim losses surpassed $6 million over six years.   

      How to spot the scam:

      Government agencies follow strict rules for communications, so you can spot fraudsters if you know the red flags: 

      • Demands for personal identity information over phone or text
      • Requests for you to pay via unsecured methods (unknown websites, gift cards, etc.)
      • Refusals to provide agent verification and authentication
      Take action: If you accidentally give scammers your personal data (or its leaked in a data breach), they could take out loans in your name or empty your bank account. Try an identity theft protection service to monitor your finances and alert you to fraud.

      7. High-yield investment programs

      High-yield investment programs are unregistered investment opportunities that purport to deliver high returns with little to no risk. In reality, the advertised programs are Ponzi schemes that steal any invested money. 

      The scam in real life: 

      In June 2022, several employees of EarthWater Limited pleaded guilty to charges in a high-yield investment fraud scheme that targeted elderly victims [*]. The company’s former CFO pleaded guilty to 22 charges in the multimillion-dollar scam — including fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. 

      How to spot the scam: 

      It’s tempting to get involved with promising investments, but you should tread with caution if you see signs of: 

      • Excessive risk-free returns
      • Convoluted or secret investment requirements
      • Advertisements promoting limited, rare, or exclusive investment opportunities

      8. Internet and social media fraud

      Fraudsters exploit the social aspect of the internet to reach large audiences with targeted investment fraud schemes. Websites, newsletters, and phishing emails filled with misinformation entice victims into investing in financial scams. 

      The scam in real life:

      A popular social media influencer leveraged his extensive Instagram following to steal at least $2.5 million in Bitcoin [*].

      The influencer posted videos for nearly one million subscribers, claiming to buy Bitcoin with a 3–5% markup on market prices. Victims who engaged in the scheme traded their Bitcoin and never received the promised sale amounts.

      How to spot the scam:

      Innocent victims who fall for online scams often ignore these signs:

      • Unsecured websites with a barrage of popups
      • Unregulated financial entities operating on social media
      • Investment opportunities from unknown people or companies
      • Promotions touting investment sign-on bonuses

      📚 Related: What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed Online & How To Report It

      9. Microcap fraud

      Microcap fraud is a form of securities fraud in which criminals offer company stocks that are not well-established. These penny stocks often trade at under $5 per share with promises of inflated returns.  

      Companies with micro capitalizations (those under $250 million) trade on the volatile OTC market.

      Fraudsters use the microcap market and its sparse public information, historical record, and financial transparency to misrepresent the value of investments and dupe victims into buying bloated stocks.

      The scam in real life:

      The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency action against a Mexican resident for deceptive penny stock scams [*]. The accused earned more than $75 million in fraudulent microcap company sales by hiding stock positions. 

      How to spot the scam:

      When investing in the OTC market, beware of these red flags:

      • Communications from a contact who claims to have insider information
      • Limited public documentation from trusted sources
      • Aggressive promotions of high-risk stocks

      10. Ponzi schemes

      A Ponzi scheme is one of the most well-known types of financial fraud, in which new investors pay high rates of return to earlier backers. 

      Investors are lured in by the promise of high returns. But quite often, this seemingly valuable lucrative financial asset is non-existent. 

      The scam in real life:

      Franklin Ray operated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $40 million [*]. Ray induced over 275 investors to purchase 2,000 trucks while promising 77% of the future income from the trucks. In truth, there was limited revenue from these trucking operations to fulfill Ray’s claims.   

      How to spot the scam:

      Ponzi schemes usually have these commonalities: 

      • Secretive investment strategies 
      • Unregistered investment vehicles
      • A distinct lack of official paperwork
      • Difficulties accessing or moving your investment money
      • Consistent returns despite market conditions

      11. Pre-IPO investment scams

      Successful companies often earn high valuations and rapid price increases when offering public shares in an initial public offering (IPO). 

      But before an IPO, market makers sell special stock in a pre-IPO to source capital from hedge funds and investment banks. Fraudsters will advertise false access to pre-IPO shares to scam unsuspecting investors. 

      The scam in real life:

      A Singapore resident  deceived a New York investment firm into wiring about $9 million for the purported sale of pre-IPO stocks that he neither owned nor controlled [*].

      He supposedly held Airbnb shares that he would sell to the firm. The accused now faces a potential 20-year prison sentence for securities fraud. 

      How to spot the scam:

      • Unreported or unknown companies offering share sales
      • Unexpected offers for pre-IPO shares of large companies
      • Unregistered firms or brokerages advertising pre-IPO shares

      12. Prime bank investment scams

      Prime banks are well-known entities that earn high-security ratings and have access to advanced financial instruments. Fraudsters will create false prime bank programs or pose as central bank representatives to deceive unsuspecting investors in bank scams

      The scam in real life: 

      In November 2021, the federal courts charged Peter Baker and Elizabeth Oharriz for orchestrating a prime bank investment scam [*]. The pair created fictitious prime bank instruments to lure investors and steal $2.2 million before the SEC apprehended the schemers.

      How to spot the scam: 

      All prime bank investment programs are fraudulent, so scammers may not actually use the term "prime bank" to avoid suspicion. Here are other tip-offs:

      • Promises of high returns without risk 
      • Claims that investor funds will be kept safe in an escrow or trust account, so they are protected from any potential loss
      • Secrecy around the scheme if investors ask for references — and perhaps even a request for investors to sign non-disclosure agreements

      📚 Related: 2022 Bank Scams: Phishing, Impostors, Free Money

      13. Promissory note scams

      A promissory note is a form of debt issued in exchange for money. Usually, an investor agrees to lend a company or individual (the payee) money on the condition that the payee promises to repay it with interest.

      Criminals will run promissory note scams by advertising several forms of debt to induce investors into supplying loans that claim they will return stable interest payments. In reality, the promissory notes are fictitious, and the scammer steals any loaned funds. 

      The scam in real life:

      The SEC charged four individuals of the Retire Happy LLC company for the unregistered sale of high-yield promissory notes [*]. The scam targeted retirees with fraudulent debt opportunities as part of a larger Ponzi scheme that paid out prior investors with new investor money.   

      How to spot the scam:

      Promissory notes and debt schemes

      • Offering guaranteed returns that exceed current debt market rates  
      • Brokered by unregistered sales agents

      14. Pump-and-dump schemes

      Scammers use pump-and-dump schemes to manipulate stock prices with misleading or incorrect promotional campaigns. 

      After stock values rapidly inflate due to the influx of duped investor funds, the scammers dump their holdings. The share price plummets following the sales, leaving victims with hefty losses.   

      The scam in real life:

      Three Canadians and a Californian face prison sentences of 25 years and a $5 million fine for an illegal pump-and-dump scheme [*]. The quartet solicited purchases from U.S. investors after touting the stocks in a cold call campaign.

      Their sophisticated digital platform tracked over $140 million in stock sales from 70 issuers and stored the stolen funds in offshore accounting systems.

      How to spot the scam:

      • Aggressive buying activity on risky investment vehicles
      • High sales volume on an asset with little public information or formal documentation
      • Investment opportunities sold and advertised through questionable online channels like chat groups
      Take action: Protect yourself from the risks of identity theft and fraud with Aura’s $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance. Try Aura free for 14 days to see if it’s right for you.

      15. Pyramid schemes

      A pyramid scheme offers a made-up investment opportunity with returns based on levels of recruitment. Similar to a Ponzi scheme, new recruits pay sign-on fees that are given to investors who operate higher up the pyramid. 

      The scam in real life:  

      Elon Musk is at the center of a $258 billion lawsuit over accusations of spearheading a pyramid scheme that promoted the cryptocurrency Dogecoin [*]. 

      Musk’s support of Dogecoin attracted a surge of investors in 2021 — before the market crashed. Now, a group of DOGE investors claim Musk’s actions caused millions of people to buy into a pyramid scheme.

      How to spot the scam:

      • Focused efforts to promote awareness of an investment product and scale recruitment
      • Limited documentation about the company's revenue
      • The lack of a legitimate financial asset
      • Complex commission systems

      16. Real estate scams

      Fraudsters will engage in several scams that take advantage of the complexity of real estate sales. Inauthentic escrow payments, fake home listings, and promises of foreclosure relief can trick unwary investors into parting with their money. 

      The scam in real life: 

      The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted a California man for rigging foreclosure auctions [*]. Co-conspirators agreed not to bid against each other at public auctions but held private bidding options for select buyers on low-priced real estate. Charges against the group could result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

      How to spot the scam: 

      Fraudsters who run these scams tend to exhibit similar tactics:

      • Unsolicited sales or loan offers
      • Repeated demands for upfront payments
      • Delivery of incomplete listings or contracts

      📚 Related: Change-of-Address Scam: Why Scammers Want Your Address

      17. Theft or misappropriation of funds

      If someone entrusted to manage the finances of another individual or organization abuses that position of trust to steal from them, it’s known as misappropriation.

      For example, an executor of a deceased person's estate could steal money or land by changing ownership to their own name or the name of co-conspirators. 

      The scam in real life: 

      A Michigan woman  faces criminal charges for allegedly misusing funds meant for COVID-19 healthcare workers [*]. The woman wrote personal checks to siphon over $37,000 in government payments related to COVID-19 medical treatments.

      How to spot the scam:

      • Unexplained transfers or transactions
      • Missing receipts and financial paperwork
      • Alterations on paperwork or tampered official documents
      • Accounts that do not add up after standard checks and balances

      📚 Related: How To Protect Your Home Title From Deed Theft

      18. Broker embezzlement

      Broker embezzlement is fraud in which a trusted intermediary uses lawfully obtained assets for unintended purposes or for unauthorized personal gain.   

      The scam in real life: 

      The SEC charged a former securities broker and investment advisor for anti-fraud violations after he stole $5.8 million from a long-standing client over six years [*]. 

      The embezzlement scheme included forged signatures, changed records, and fake account statements. $4.2 million of the stolen money was used as gifts for romantic partners. 

      How to spot the scam:

      Embezzlement is a breach of trust, so early detection can help you identify a dishonest broker and mitigate any financial losses. Here’s what to look out for:

      • Brokers who refuse to meet face-to-face
      • Brokers who do not give you access to your investment statements
      • A broker with no record on the SEC’s Investor Advisor Public Disclosure database
      • A broker who is not registered with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation 
      • Brokers who balk at signing a legally binding contract that ensures fiduciary responsibility

      📚 Related: Help! Someone Forged My Signature on a Check and Cashed It

      19. Hedge fund-related fraud

      Hedge funds leverage extensive capital and investment partnerships to engage in financial instruments that are minimally regulated. As a result, investors who place their money in hedge funds often fall victim to an array of schemes related to corporate mismanagement. 

      The scam in real life:

      In July 2021, the SEC charged Sean Wygovsky for insider trading at a Canadian asset management firm [*]. Wygovsky traded in family accounts before executing large orders of the same stock at the hedge fund. His illicit gains netted over $3.6 million over a span of six years.  

      How to spot the scam:

      Plenty of hedge funds offer legitimate, albeit risky, investment opportunities. When you complete your due diligence on an asset management firm, also look for these red flags: 

      • A history of litigation
      • A distinct lack of trading transparency
      • No record of independent account audits
      • Managers who trade with their own accounts

      20. Late-day trading

      Late-day trading refers to fraudulent brokers who trade after hours but record the trade execution before the market closes that day. Fraudulent activity allows criminals to use market information not available to the common investor for illegal gain, often used with mutual funds. 

      The scam in real life:  

      Federal prosecutors have charged James Velissaris for the collapse of a $1.7 billion mutual fund scam [*].

      As the chief investment officer of Infinity Q Diversified Alpha Fund, Velissaris was found guilty of repeatedly adjusting the fund's reported values. The mispricing continued until a requested $100 million bailout loan triggered an SEC investigation.

      How to spot the scam:

      • Firms that refuse to disclose fee structures
      • Firms that do not offer an SEC-required prospectus
      • Firms that reserve the right to engage in aggressive or risky trading operations with your investments

      21. Recovery room schemes

      After investors fall victim to investment schemes, they are anxious to earn any lost money back. Fraudsters prey on recent scam victims by posing as secondary investment firms with special high-rate-of-return offers labeled as “recovery opportunities.” 

      The scam in real life:

      In July 2022, Lincoln Police Department reported a family lost about $700,000 in a cryptocurrency scam [*]. Three members of the family shared the losses after becoming victims to a string of scams. 

      After locking their accounts, the fraudsters directed the family to different websites and instructed them to open new accounts and invest more money to recover their initial investments.

      How to spot the scam: 

      If you’ve already lost money, there’s a danger you could get scammed again if you’re not careful. These signs should tip you off: 

      • Unsolicited calls from criminals posing as government agencies
      • Contact from brokers who have details about your previous investments
      • Requests to pay upfront fees, taxes, or membership dues for a high-yield investment

      22. Annuity fraud

      Fraudsters will pose as annuities agents and engage in scams that steal money related to pensions, retirement savings, or insurance policies. 

      The scam in real life: 

      Darrell Arnold Aviss sourced almost $12 million from investors in an annuity scam [*]. The Santa Barbara man claimed to purchase annuities related to Swiss-based insurance companies.

      In reality, the money sat in Aviss' personal bank accounts in Monaco to support his lavish lifestyle. 

      How to spot the scam: 

      When signing an investment contract, these signs should serve as a forewarning:  

      • Brokers that take exorbitant commissions
      • Contracts that require premiums or upfront fees
      • Unexpected communications about time-sensitive contract expirations or guaranteed payments
      • Brokers who are not Certified Annuities Specialists with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

      Investment Fraud Checklist: How To Know You’re Being Swindled

      While there are different types of investment scams, several common red flags can alert you to potential financial fraud. If you identify one or more of these with any investment opportunity, proceed with caution — your money might be at risk.

      Upfront fees or dues

      Investment fees from authentic investment partners are taken after the financial asset generates a return. A thief often demands upfront premiums as a pressure tactic to steal from victims before they figure out the investment is a sham.

      Guaranteed or risk-free returns

      No financial asset is 100% risk-free. If you come across a non-government-backed investment opportunity that is guaranteed, it is most likely a scam. 

      Offers that exceed market averages

      Loans, debt obligations, and securities all follow moving market averages. While the outlandish return rates that a scammer advertises may pique your interest, any values far above the standard are clear red flags.   

      Unsolicited promotions for risky financial vehicles

      Verified and authentic investment professionals do not make unsolicited communication attempts. If you receive an unexpected offer for an investment opportunity, it is probably a scam.

      A lack of documentation and overall transparency

      Financial markets are heavily regulated, and investment firms must publicly announce the required documentation. If you come across an investment company with no accessible prospectus, it’s probably a scam.  

      Unlicensed and unregistered financial agents

      Investment professionals undergo extensive training, regulatory approval, and yearly licensing requirements. You shouldn't trust unregistered brokers with your money — they're likely running some illegitimate scheme. 

      Mass advertising on social media

      If an investment is too good to be true, why would the backing firm need to advertise? Social media is often used to market pump-and-dump schemes, so be wary of aggressive promotional offers. 

      Buying frenzies

      If a security or stock has high sale volumes with no relation to the asset’s value, you’re probably looking at a scam. Pay no attention to the common claim that “everyone is buying it,” which could be part of the ruse.  

      Limited-time offers or undue pressure to buy

      When we feel pressured, we can make unwise decisions. Scammers take advantage of human psychology to get their victims to invest without doing any due diligence. Authentic investment firms will rarely pressure you to buy an asset. 

      False credentials or tampered documents

      Any time you see edits, markings, or evidence of tampered documents, you are at risk of misappropriation, embezzlement, and other forms of theft.

      How Do I Report Fraud?

      Filing a report can help you limit the potential damage to your credit file and financial accounts. It also gives the authorities valuable information to investigate your case, which may help them prevent future scams. 

      The more information you provide about your lost investments, the better. Compile an investment fraud file, and send all details to the proper authorities listed below. 

      What should I include in an investment fraud file?

      • Your personal contact information. You may alert the authorities anonymously, but that can reduce your chances of recovering any lost money. 
      • Information related to the perpetrator. Phone numbers, email addresses, and company names can help police track fraudsters.
      • A description of the scam. Include relevant details about how the fraudsters contacted you, how you transferred your funds, and how the criminals executed the scam.
      • Any additional documents or pieces of evidence. Communication of any sort could be useful — including emails, phone records, and web pages. 

      Where should I file the report?

      U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

      • Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549-0213
      • Phone: (800) SEC-0330
      • Submit a tip:
      • File a complaint:
      • Helpline email address:
      • Investor help website: 

      The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

      • FINRA Complaints and Tips, 9509 Key West Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850
      • Telephone: (301) 590-6500
      • Submit a tip:

      North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)

      • 750 First Street, NE, Suite 1140, Washington, DC 20002
      • Telephone: (202) 737-0900
      • Regulator Contact Form:
      💯 Did you know? In June 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) clarified that if consumers were duped into sharing account access information, they should receive the same protections as if the money were acquired from a stolen debit card or other banking "access device." [*]

      Can I Recover Lost Money?

      While there is no guarantee of recovering your lost funds, victims of investment fraud may be able to get complete or partial recompensation. Your chances of getting your money back vary on a case-by-case basis and rely heavily on the appropriate agency taking action.

      Here are nine avenues you can pursue:

      1. Arbitration or mediation: First, you can always take individual legal action against a particular party that committed fraudulent investment activity. You will need evidence that depicts the perpetrator and the details of the scam. 
      2. Disgorgement: The courts can force a fraudster to give up any stolen funds in a process known as disgorgement. You can request your portion of the fair fund by using the SEC's Electronic Filings in Administrative Proceedings (eFAP) system.
      3. Receiverships: An officer of the court known as a receiver will hold and protect any ill-gotten gains taken back from fraudsters. You can claim your portion of the share payment by filling out an Investor Complaint Form.  
      4. Brokerage account protection: If you hire a registered broker or a brokerage firm affiliated with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), you might receive insurance protection and payouts of up to $500,000 [*]. 
      5. Corporate bankruptcy: Strict laws govern bankruptcy proceedings. You may be entitled to return funds as the company outlines its reorganization plan. 
      6. Private class actions: A private party may take legal action on behalf of all investors related to a scam. You can find out if you are eligible for recovered funds at the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse
      7. SEC investigations: The SEC engages in private civil cases that may seek remedies for those who transgress monetary policy. If you are a victim of a scam, you can track the investigation and any payouts with the SEC’s litigation releases
      8. SEC/FINRA enforcement actions: The SEC and FINRA may also take fees, penalties, and payments for suspensions against investment firms that engage in illegal financial conduct. You might be eligible for a share of any collected monies related to enforcement action. 
      9. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Assistance: In specific government investigations, you may receive money from recovered reparation funds. 

      Lastly, you can always take individual legal action against a particular party that committed fraudulent investment activity. However, unless you have specific information about the perpetrators, including names and addresses, it might be hard to bring them to justice. 

      Protect Yourself From Elaborate Financial Swindles. Try Aura.

      Investment fraud can leave your future in tatters. Whether you were saving a nest egg for retirement or inheritances for your children, the loss of your hard-earned funds can cause significant harm to your credit accounts, financial prospects, and emotional well-being.

      Your best defense against investment scams is doing your due diligence on any potential investment before you get involved. But to get the extended protection and peace of mind you need today, sign up for Aura. 

      Our all-in-one digital security solution keeps you safe from all types of financial scams, including investment fraud. Aura helps you with a host of protection features: 

      • Account Monitoring: Receive near real-time alerts about suspected fraudulent activity on your accounts.
      • Malware Protection: Keep your money secure from hackers with high-level encryption.
      • Antivirus software with a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Safeguard your devices with military-grade encryption and Wi-Fi protection. 
      • Credit Lock: If you fall victim to a scam, easily lock your accounts to limit the financial damage. 
      • 24/7/365 support: Take advantage of proactive customer service that will help you resolve issues.
      • $1,000,000 insurance policy: Receive compensation for eligible losses due to criminal activity.
      Take action against financial fraud with Aura. Sign up today to get 14 days free
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      Cash App is convenient and fast. But is it safe? Not always. Here are the latest Cash App scams to be aware of and how to protect yourself from scammers.

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      September 12, 2022

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