The week of October 3 is World Investor Week, a great time to remember that the too-good-to- be-true investment opportunity often is exactly that. Investment scams are among the oldest out there. With lots of people looking for a way to make money on investing, there are at least as many looking to take it away. One area where investment scams have thrived as of late is in cryptocurrency, which has taken a quantum leap recently.
The Federal Trade Commission received nearly 6,800 complaints of cryptocurrency investment scams from October 2020 through March 2021, up from 570 in the same period a year before. Reported losses during that time grew more than tenfold, to above $80 million.
Three things that are common in crypto scams are: fake websites with bogus testimonials, fake celebrity appeals via direct messages on social media, and buy-now campaigns designed to create pressure to invest right away. If you are thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, remember that most of the consumer protections that exist with traditional investments don’t exist for crypto.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.