Scam of the Day

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Scam of the day – April 18, 2021 – Phony Norton Invoice Scam

The phony invoice scam is a common scam popular with scammers because it is quite effective.  It starts when you receive an email that purports to be from a popular company with which many of us do business that indicates that you owe them a significant payment.   The scammers count on people being concerned that they are being wrongfully charged for a product they did not order.  You are provided a telephone number to call if you dispute the bill. If you call the number, you will be prompted to provide personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Here is a copy of the phony invoice presently being circulated.

This email appears to come from Norton, a company that provides a wide range of digital security services.   As always, the purpose of a phishing email is to lure you into clicking on links contained within the email or providing personal information, in this case by phone if you call to dispute the phony bill . If you click on links in phishing emails, you end up downloading malware and if you provide the requested information, it ends up being used to make you a victim of identity theft. This particular phishing email provides a phone number to call if you wish to dispute the obviously phony invoice.  If you call the number in the phishing email you will be asked for personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

There are a number of red flags that indicate that this is a scam.  Your name does not appear anywhere in the invoice.  Only your email address appears in the phony invoice.  Also, the email was sent from an email address that appears to have nothing to do with Norton.

Here is a copy of the invoice being circulated.

“Norton 360 Premium with Life Lock                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Invoice Receipt

Invoice# 23564696563-4598                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            April 14, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Support Desk# +1 (877) 495-1031    

This email confirms your recent payment of $539.99USD.

Below are the details of your payment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Plan Details:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Order# 789625485                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Customer# 1942008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Active Plan: Norton360 PREMIUM– 3 Years Subscription                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next Invoice Date:  April 13, 2024                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Total Paid: $539.99

We tried to contact you on your registered number to inform you about the renewal but couldn’t get through. Your account have been charged for $539.99 and the amount will appear in your account/statement within 24 hours.

If you’re unaware about the charge and wish to cancel the plan and get the refund, please contact our customer support on +1 (877) 495-1031.

Thank you for your continued support and business!”

TIPS

Once, I received a large invoice from a company with which I do business for goods I did not order, but rather than click on the link provided in the email, I went directly to the company’s website to question the invoice.  When the website came up, the first thing I saw was a large announcement that the invoice was a scam and that many people had received these phony invoices.  If you ever receive a phony invoice such as this and you think that it may possibly be true, don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the email.  Rather contact the real company directly at a phone number or website that you know is legitimate where you can confirm that the phishing invoice was a scam.

Never click on links or download attachments in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that they are legitimate and don’t call companies at telephone numbers that appear in the email such as this one.  Instead, if the email appears to come from a legitimate company, you can call them at a telephone number you confirm is legitimate .  Don’t call the number that appears in the email.  In the case of Norton, the real telephone number to call for customer service is 844-993-1307.  One of the indications that this is not legitimate and is a phishing email is the fact that the email address from which it was sent has nothing to do with Norton.  Also, nowhere in the email does your name appear.  Finally, the scammer is a bit lazy in not even including a Norton logo in the email which would be easy to counterfeit so even if an email carries the logo of a company, you can’t trust it.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 17, 2021 – Moratorium on Evictions During the Pandemic Extended

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought financial strain to many people and difficulty paying monthly rent is high on the list of problems for a lot of people.  Initially Congress enacted an eviction moratorium that was to end in January of 2021, but fortunately, President Biden issued an executive order extending the moratorium until March 31st with the intention of giving Congress extra time to come up with some solutions for renters experiencing difficulties paying their rent.    Now the moratorium has been extended until June 30, 2021.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, scammers are taking advantage of the concern many renters have about paying their rent and are contacting them by phone, email or text message offering help to avoid eviction or  offering to provide money for rent.  The scammers, however, are not interested in providing rental assistance, but are interested in stealing their victims’ money or getting information they can use to make the concerned renters victims of identity theft.

TIPS

As always, never provide your personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card information, debit card information or bank account number to anyone who contacts you unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate and that there is a legitimate need to provide that information.  Whenever you are contacted by phone, text message or email, you cannot be sure that the person contacting you actually is who they say they are.  Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from a legitimate source, your Caller ID can be manipulated by “spoofing” to appear to be a legitimate phone number when it is actually coming from a scammer.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, there are a number of local programs that provide rental assistance and other services.  Here is a link to find the ones that may apply to you.https://www.hud.gov/states

Here is another link to HUD with helpful information for renters. https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus/renters

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 16, 2021 – Coronavirus Funeral Expenses Scam

If you ever needed further proof of the total lack of empathy of scammers, this scam provides it.  Earlier this week the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a program by which it will pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses of people who died from the Coronarvirus since January 20, 2020.  The program is available to all American citizens and non-citizens who are legally in the United States and there are no income or asset qualifications.  Unfortunately, scammers have seized on this program as a new way to scam people by calling them, texting them or emailing them posing as FEMA officials offering to help people apply for the funeral payments.  In some of these scams, they ask for a fee as a part of the application process and in other versions of this scam they ask for your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card number in order to process the application and pay the funds.  Any money you pay them is lost forever and any information you provide will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

It is important to know that FEMA is not contacting anyone by email, text message or phone call to inform them about the program or offer to assist in the application.  In addition, there are no fees required to apply for these benefits. Finally, you are not required to provide your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card number to apply for these benefits.

Even if your Caller ID indicates that the call is from FEMA, it is a simple matter for scammers to “spoof” the telephone number of FEMA and manipulate your Caller ID so it appears that the call is coming from FEMA when, in truth, it is coming from the phone or computer of the scammer so you can’t trust your Caller ID.

People interested in the real FEMA funeral benefits program can apply by phone at 844-684-6333.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 15, 2021 – FTC Refunding Money to Victims of MoneyGram Scams

A common theme in many scams, including phony lottery scams and the infamous grandparent scam, is that the scammers will require the victim to wire money or use gift cards rather than use a credit card or a check.  Once money has been wired or gift card information provided, it is all but impossible to trace or stop payment.  In response to this problem, the Federal Trade Commission investigated both Western Union and MoneyGram and settled claims brought against them in 2017 and 2009 respectively.   According to the terms of both settlements, the companies agreed to make substantial changes in how they did business in order to reduce the amount of scammers using their services. While Western Union is apparently adhering to the terms of its settlement, the FTC determined that MoneyGram was not implementing the fraud prevention standards agreed upon and consequently, the FTC brought new charges against MoneyGram which were settled in 2018.   Among the terms of the new settlement was a payment by MoneyGram of 125 million dollars to the FTC to be returned to people who were victimized by scammers through MoneyGram between 2013 and 2017. Now, three years later, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending payments to the MoneyGram scam victims.

TIPS

First in regard to avoiding scams like this in the first place, whenever anyone you are dealing with requests that payment be made by way of a wire transfer or gift card, you should immediately be skeptical because of the near impossibility of getting your money back if the deal is a scam or anything goes wrong.  Using a credit card for payment is much safer.

As for those of you who will be getting refunds from the FTC, the FTC has hired Gilardi & Co. LLC as the remission administrator in charge of sending payments to the MoneyGram scam victims.  They will be sending prefilled claim forms to victims.  The claim forms indicate the amount of money you lost according to MoneyGram’s records.  If you agree with the amount, complete the rest of the form and mail it back before the deadline or submit your claim online at moneygramremission.com.  The form does ask for your Social Security number which you will need to provide.  If you do not agree with the amount indicated on the form as to your loss, you will need to provide documentation to prove your actual loss.

Since the legitimate form asks for your Social Security number, many people are rightfully skeptical when they get the form as to whether they are getting the real form or one sent by a scammer.  The real form has a return address of United States v. MoneyGram International, Inc. P.O. Box 43549, Providence, Rhode Island 02940-3549.  It also lists the phone number for Gilardi & Co., the administrator of the claims which is 844-269-2630 and carries the official seal of the Department of Justice and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  No fee is required to file your claim.  Any communication that asks for a payment in order to file your claim is a scam and you should ignore it.

If you believe you are a victim of the MoneyGram scam, but do not receive a prefilled claim form, you can file a claim on your own after June 1, 2021.

It is important to note that is expected to take at least a year before claims are verified and payments are made.  I will keep you updated as further developments occur.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 14, 2021 – Sheriff Warns About Virtual Kidnapping

I have been warning you about phony kidnapping scams, also known as virtual kidnapping, for eight years.  The scam starts with a telephone call informing the person answering the phone that a child or other relative has been kidnapped and if the person receiving the call does not respond by wiring money right away, the relative will be killed.  As with so many scams, we are often our own worst enemy and this scam is no exception.  In many instances, the scammers gather personal information about the intended scam victims from information that the intended victims or members of their families post on social media.   Armed with  personal information gathered from social media, a scammer can describe the supposed kidnapped victim or provide personal information that would make it appear that indeed they actually do have the person in their custody.  Sometimes the phony kidnappers manipulate your Caller ID through  a technique called “spoofing” to make it appear that the call is coming from the supposedly kidnapped family member’s cell phone.  Recently, the Alameda County, California Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about this scam which they indicated is happening more frequently.

Many of the fake kidnapping scams, according to the FBI. are originating with calls from Mexican prisons, where in most instances the calls are being made by prisoners who have bribed guards to supply them with cell phones.

TIPS

Always be skeptical if you receive such a call.  Never wire money to anyone for anything unless you are totally convinced that what you are doing is legitimate because unlike paying for something with a credit card, once your wired funds have been sent, they are impossible to get back.  Talk to the alleged kidnapper as long as possible, thereby giving someone else with you the time to call  or text the alleged kidnap victim on his or her smartphone.   If the purported kidnapping victim is a young child, call the school to confirm that he or she is safe.   You also could ask the kidnapper to describe your relative as well as provide information, such as his or her birth date, which could be found on a driver’s license, however, it is important to remember that much of this kind of information may be available through social media or elsewhere on the Internet. It also can be helpful for the family to have a code word to use to immediately recognize that this is a scam. If the kidnapper can’t provide the code word, it is clear that it is a scam.

Many of these kidnapping scams are originating in Mexico so be particularly skeptical if you receive the telephone call from Mexico which has many area codes which can be found by clicking on this link.  http://dialcode.org/North_America/Mexico/  Other hotspots for this scam have been in Taiwan and Cuba.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 13, 2021 – Movie Distributing Ponzi Scheme

A little over a month ago on March 3rd was Charles Ponzi’s 139th birthday.  Scam artists around the world should probably honor the man who perfected the scheme that bears his name that has been used by many scammers to steal billions of dollars from unwitting victims who made the mistake of investing their money with such criminals.  Although, Ponzi was not the first to use the technique of paying off early investors with the investments of later investors in an effort to make a total sham look as if it is a profitable business, that dishonor should go to Sarah Howe who first used this scheme in the 1870s, it was Ponzi in 1920 who perfected the scam to steal millions of dollars from unwary investors in his scheme through which he told them that he was able to take advantage of fluctuating currency values to purchase international postal reply coupons at a discount and then sell them at face value in the United States.  Ponzi promised, and delivered to early investors, a 50% profit on investments within 45 days and a 100% profit within 90 days.  Of course, the entire scheme was a total fake, but eager investors blinded by their greed flocked to him to invest.  Eventually, as ultimately always happens in a Ponzi scheme, the scam was exposed and Ponzi went to prison.  However, the list of criminals still using this prototype of a scam continues to this day including such famous Ponzi scheme criminals as Allen Stanford, Tom Petters, Norman Hsu, Lou Pearlman and, of course, the biggest of them all, Bernie Madoff who swindled people out of more than 50 billion dollars using this time honored scheme.

Now law enforcement is indicating that added to that list of Ponzi Schemers should be the name of Zach Avery who was recently charged with wire fraud related to an alleged Ponzi scheme in which authorities say he stole more than 227 million dollars from investors who invested in his movie distribution company which he told investors had business relationships with HBO and Netflix although the truth is that he had no business relationships with either company, but merely, according to law enforcement authorities, forged emails to make it appear that he did.  As with many Ponzi Schemes, Avery’s was able to go on for years paying money derived from new investors to old investors who he promised guaranteed returns of at least 35% until 2019 when an investor of more than $160 million dollars demanded the return of his money and Avery was not able to comply.  The investor then went to law enforcement after which an investigation leading to the wire fraud charges ensued.

TIPS

So how do you protect yourself from falling prey to a Ponzi schemer?  There are a number of things you can do including always investigate the credentials of any investment adviser you are considering using.  You can check on individual investment advisers with the SEC, your own state’s securities regulators and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  However, that would not have protected you from being swindled by the likes of Allen Stanford or Bernie Madoff.  Also, you should never invest in anything that you do not totally understand.  Bernie Madoff actually had the gall to blame his victims for being scammed by him because he said that if any of them had researched what he had told them he was doing, they would have known that what he was doing was impossible.

Movie investing is a very risky business and no one should invest in any business unless they truly understand the investment.  Savvy investors would have been able to see through Avery’s empty promises.  A good rule to follow is to never invest in anything you do not truly know.

Another important way to avoid a Ponzi schemer is to never use an investment adviser who is also the custodian of your funds. This is a recipe for disaster.  The role of an investment adviser or manager should be solely that of advising and making trades.  The custodian of the actual investments should be a separate broker-dealer regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and backed by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC).  Never invest in anything that you don’t totally understand and be particularly wary of investments that promise huge returns or no risk of ever losing money even when market conditions are poor.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 12, 2021 – Amazon Phone Call Scam

A famous bank robber was once asked why he robbed banks to which he responded, “because that is where the money is” which is why it is not surprising that scammers have used Amazon as the basis for a wide variety of scams due to so many people buying products through Amazon, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic.  The latest Amazon related scam starts with an automated phone call that tells you that a purchase has been made on your Amazon account that appears to be fraudulent.  You are then prompted to press 1 on your phone to speak with an Amazon representative to discuss the apparent fraudulent charge on your account.  If you fall for the scam and press 1 to speak with an Amazon representative, you will actually be speaking with a scammer posing as an Amazon representative who will ask you to confirm the credit card number attached to your Amazon account.  Anyone providing that information will soon become a victim of identity theft and credit card fraud.

TIPS

If there is an issue with your Amazon account, Amazon will not call you on the phone.  Instead they will send you an email with your name and account number specifically included in the email.    Even if your Caller ID indicates that the call is from Amazon, you can’t trust it because through a technique called spoofing, scammers can manipulate your Caller ID to make their call to appear legitimate.  If you have a question about your Amazon account, you can either contact them through their website at https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html or call them at 1 (888) 280-4331.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 11, 2021 – Department of Education Revives Debt Relief Program for Defrauded Students

For profit universities have been a target of state and federal investigations for years.  I have written about this topic since 2012.  It should be noted that not all for profit colleges are scams, but there are a large number of for profit colleges, sometimes referred to as “diploma mills” that at times offer credit for your “life experience” and lure students in with promises of a helpful degree, but the students end up with a worthless degree and an empty wallet.  Sometimes the names of these scamming colleges and universities are confusingly similar to legitimate colleges.  For instance, Columbia State University is a diploma mill while Columbia University is an eminent Ivy League school.

Recently the Department of Education rescinded changes made during the previous administration which made it more difficult for defrauded students to obtain debt relief for student loans.  According to the Department of Education approximately a billion dollars of student loan debt will be eligible for a relief program known as “borrower defense” which allows students who can prove they were substantially misled by their school to have their federal student loans forgiven.

TIP

If you are considering attending a for profit school, first check it out with the United States Department of Education’s website at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation to make sure it is an accredited institution.
You also should investigate whether a local college, university or community college would be more cost effective for you.  For profit colleges and universities are often more expensive than these other alternatives without offering any distinct advantages.  Also, check out the graduation rates of any for profit college you are considering and finally, investigate the job prospects in your field of study.  Don’t just take the word of the college.

For more information about the “borrower defense” program, go to https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/

Scam of the day – April 10, 2021 – U.S. Marshal Impostor Scam

Impostor scams have long been among the most lucrative for scammers.  While there are many variations of this scam, the most common variations have involved scammers calling their intended victims on the telephone posing as some governmental agency such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration.  The scammer then, under a wide variety of pretenses, demands an immediate payment by gift cards, credit card or wired funds. Being asked to pay by gift cards is a definite indication that the call is a scam since no governmental agency requests or accepts payments by gift cards.   Alternatively, the scammer demands the victim supply the phony governmental agent with personal information such as your Social Security number which will then be used for identity theft purposes.

Recently the United States Marshals Service for the Eastern District of North Carolina warned the public about a scam where people are receiving phone calls from someone posing as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in which the caller says there is a warrant for their arrest for failure to respond to a summons to appear in federal court.  The caller then tells the targeted victim that they must immediately meet the fake Deputy U.S. Marshall and pay a fine of $2,500 in cash or they will be arrested.  The phony deputy will use intimidation through the threat of an arrest, embarrassment, getting a criminal record and more to persuade the targeted victim to comply with the scammer’s demand.

TIPS

As I have often reminded you, through the simple technique of “spoofing” it is very easy for a scammer to manipulate your Caller ID to make a call coming to you appear legitimate when it is not.  Therefore you can never truly trust your Caller ID.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Even though your Caller ID may indicate that the call is coming from the Office of the U.S. Marshal, the call is coming from a scammer.  It is important to note that the U.S. Marshal’s Service never collects cash fines ordered by a court.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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Scam of the day – April 9, 2021 – Investment Scammer Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison

Investment scammer Anthony Diaz was recently sentenced to 17.5 years in prison upon his conviction of eleven counts of fraud related to his scamming his clients out of millions of dollars.  Diaz was a financial planner who convinced his clients to invest in high risk, illiquid alternative investment products including real estate investment trusts, business development companies, oil and gas drilling companies and equipment leasing companies.  Diaz convinced his clients to invest their life savings with him though a series of false promises including that the investments were low-risk with guaranteed protection of principle and guaranteed rates of return and that the investments were liquid and able to be easily accessed if needed.  The truth is that the investments were high-risk and speculative with no guarantees.  Some of his investors lost all of their life’s savings.  Diaz often had his clients sign blank documents with the promise that the missing information would be filled in by his office.  Diaz would then insert false information into the forms, inflating his clients’ assets, risk tolerance and investment experience in order to qualify them as suitable investors for these high-risk alternative investments.  Diaz had also been suspended by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards as well as investigated and punished by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.

There are many different investment scams, but generally, people often become victims of investment scams when, such as here, they invest in things that they don’t understand (a common thread with victims of Bernie Madoff), fall victim to affinity fraud by investing with someone merely because they share a similar background, invest with someone who is both the broker and the custodian of the asset which enables the scammer to be able to control the investments and the records of the deposits or fail to investigate the investment advisor before investing.

TIPS

Before investing with anyone, you should investigate the person offering to sell you the investment with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Central Registration Depository.  This will tell you if the broker is licensed and if there have been disciplinary procedures against him or her.    You can also check with your own state’s securities regulation office for similar information.  Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state’s securities regulators.   You can find your state’s agency by going to the website of the North American Securities Administrators Association. https://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/how-to-check-your-broker-or-investment-adviser/ Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state securities regulators.  You should also check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for information about the particular  investment adviser. https://www.finra.org/investors/protect-your-money/ask-and-check  If investors had looked into the history of Diaz, they would have seen numerous disciplinary investigations and sanctions imposed.  In addition, no one should ever sign a blank form with an investment advisor.

It is also important to remember that you should never  invest in something that you do not completely understand.  This was a mistake that many of Bernie Madoff’s victims made as well as the clients of Anthony Diaz.  You also may want to check out the SEC’s investor education website at www.investor.gov.  Scammers can be very convincing and it may sound like there is a great opportunity for someone to make some money, but you must be careful that the person making money is not the scam artist taking yours.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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