We’re number three! And it’s not something to be proud of. A new study reveals New York state has the third highest rate of investment fraud in the country. I hear heartbreaking stories from viewers all the time. And so often, victims don’t want to be interviewed because they are so ashamed that they were fooled. Let me be very clear. Scammers are incredibly good at what they do. That’s why we all have to be vigilant.
The study done by Carlson Law, an investment law firm, is an analysis of FBI data in all 50 states. Here are the five states with the highest rate of fraud. This list is based on the number of victims per 100,000 residents.
• District of Columbia – 26 per 100,000
• Maryland – 17.5 per 100,000
• New York – 17.1 per 100,000
• Nevada – 13.7 per 100,000
• California – 12.6 per 100,000
And the data indicates people across the income spectrum are at risk, from professional athletes to seniors living on Social Security. The study finds, surprisingly, the group scammers most often target are people aged 30 to 49. But seniors are especially vulnerable, especially those who are not tech savvy. News10NBC’s personal finance expert and managing director of Invessent, Jarrett Felton, says there are three main red flags:
High pressure sales tactics that try to force you to act right now.
They won’t let you take material to analyze before making a decision.
They stress secrecy, and there’s a lack of transparency.
“It’s a red flag if you’re not encouraged to seek out financial advice from a qualified advisor, I use the term loosely, it could be legal; it could be accounting; it could be financial; it could be insurance depending on the opportunity, where the great investment opportunity is coming from,” he said, making air quotes while saying “investment opportunity.”
Here are three investment fraud scams the study indicates we should watch for in 2023.
The AI deep fake voice cloning scam. Scammers are using AI to clone the faces and voices of celebrities promoting investments. Signs that the image may be AI-generated is the image blinks too much or too little.
Crypto initial coin offering. The company leader says it’s raising capital for an ICO with great returns on an innovative project. Do your research, including a Google reverse image search of the company founder. Does it match up with who he says he is?
Fake real estate investments. Scammers create property listings for what looks like a lucrative investment. Always visit the property before considering any real estate buy.
Felton says perhaps most importantly, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose, especially if there is risk involved. And never make an immediate decision. Research. Research. And when you’re finished, research a bit more.
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