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New Target: Annuities Sales Fraud

Annuities are a helpful financial tool to secure your finances and create a dependable source of income. Programs such as Social Security provide continued cash flow through annuities for seniors after they retire from the workforce. They can also allow you to provide for your grandchildren in the future.

Despite how helpful and generally low-risk annuities are, their sales have decreased in past years. Annuities themselves do not seem to be the problem. What seems to be the issue are the reports of increasing fraud cases involving annuities since 2015. 

How to know if an investment is suitable

Investing provides a way to increase your money, save for retirement and help you reach financial goals. Of course, not all investments are created equal. Some investments prove more lucrative, and some investments are unwise. Here are some ways to determine if you are making a sound investment.

Investment scheme defrauded investors of more than $345 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded anywhere from 200 to 400 investors across the country. The group cheated people out of more than $345 million, according to the SEC’s website.

The group included Kevin B. Merrill, Jay B. Ledford and Cameron Jezierski. Merrill is from Maryland, and the two other men are from Texas. The men promised to buy credit card and student loan debt and then resell it to third party debt buyers. By flipping the debt, they promised investors substantial profits.

Former broker admits to defrauding investors of nearly $4 million

A former UBS broker, John MacColl, has confessed to stealing millions from at least 15 clients between 2008 and 2018. The confession came after a former client became suspicious about an investment made with MacColl. When the client requested an account statement, the former broker faxed a statement with several misspellings and errors.

The client then reached out to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a non-profit organization that helps protect American Investors.

Identifying a Ponzi scheme

If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Even though that saying is well known within society, it is not always easy to identify red flags when someone is trying to pull you into a scheme. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of investors, especially investors who are not knowledgeable about potential schemes or are desperate for a quick fix to a financial situation. These solutions appear to be legitimate on the surface and offer potential results that would benefit you greatly, but underneath reveal

A Ponzi scheme is when a seller uses money from a new investor to pay an existing investor. It essentially steals money from one person and gives it to someone else. Doing this is illegal. Seniors who have been investing money are becoming targets for such schemes. Experiencing errors that do not appear to be significant could be signs that you are part of a Ponzi scheme. Red flags that you can look for may include:

The most common forms of broker misconduct

Investors deal with risk on a daily basis, navigating unpredictable market changes and other factors as they seek to ensure the health of their portfolios. However, additional risks can come in the form of unscrupulous financial advisors, who harm these investments either through direct action or negligence. Even though most brokers truly have your best interests in mind, a savvy investor must remain vigilant of possible misconduct. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) tracks the most common kinds of misconduct that investors should watch out for.

The differences between financial mediation and arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are the two most common methods used to resolve financial disputes without going to court.

While each avoids the court system, the similarities end there. There are key differences between the two options. Here's what you need to know about mediation and arbitration:

Lookout for the warning signs of an ICO scam

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a fundraising mechanism wherein new blockchain startups sell cryptotokens or cryptocurrencies to investors in exchange for capital to fund the startup process. The token sales allow investors to fund ambitious projects for the next generation of successful companies. In return for purchasing tokens, the investors share in the returns as the project matures and becomes financially viable.

An ICO bears similarity to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where a company sells shares of their business to investors, however, there is a key difference. IPOs are subject to regularization whereas ICOs are not, leaving the playing field of new platforms ripe with potential for exploitation. ICOs have high volatility risk, but also the ability to be extremely profitable.

Lawsuit alleges CBOE volatility index stock manipulation

A class action lawsuit to uncover the identities of traders who may have been manipulating the VIX has been filed by a Chicago-based trading firm. The alleged manipulation caused financial losses for investors.

Understanding the VIX

Warning signs of investment fraud that seniors should know

Navigating the world of investing can be complicated. For every legitimate investment opportunity, there is a multitude of scams. It is all too easy to misplace your trust and fall victim to investment fraud.

Senior citizens are at a particularly high risk for investment fraud. Because seniors are not always as technologically savvy as their younger family members, they are frequent targets for scams. To help combat investment fraud among senior citizens, the Security and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has compiled a short list of investment fraud red flags that seniors should know about.

Contact A Manhattan Investment Fraud Lawyer With Extensive Experience

For a free consultation with an experienced New York City securities litigation lawyer, contact the law firm of Timothy J. Dennin, P.C., by calling 866-437-9475.

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