Fake, unregistered investment schemes and other sorts of scams being touted on social media are the focus of a new investor warning from U.S. derivatives regulators.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an advisory on Wednesday warning investors about scammers utilizing social media platforms to lure victims.
“Fraud offenders can create many online profiles or anonymous identities, and use them in a coordinated way to lure people into schemes,” the CFTC noted.
“As the technology utilized by consumers has evolved over time, so too have the tools that scammers use to target potential victims,” said Erica Elliott Richardson, director of the CFTC’s Office of External Affairs.
“We have seen scammers use social media in their attempts to exploit individuals who are interested in trading foreign currencies, binary options, digital currencies, and precious metals,” she said.
The advisory highlights several red flags to help investors identify fraudulent social media profiles, including the flaunting of purported wealth, and new profiles with few connections to family, friends or colleagues.
“Bogus profiles are designed to build a façade of success. Posts may even feature screen shots of ‘winning trades’ or huge account balances,” it noted.
“The CFTC encourages consumers to fully research all potential investments and stay informed about the latest scammer tactics in order to avoid these schemes,” added Richardson.