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December 08, 2008
National Futures Association issues Investor Alert to help individuals protect themselves from affinity fraud
December 8, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) has issued an Investor Alert to help individuals avoid becoming victims of fraudulent investment offers targeted to specific ethnic communities, religious organizations and social clubs. This particular type of fraud, called affinity fraud, is becoming more prevalent as individuals become more fearful of the volatile stock market and look for more "safe" investments.
"Recently, NFA has seen a rise in affinity fraud, especially within immigrant communities," says Karen Wuertz, NFA's senior vice-president of strategic planning and communications. "These communities are particularly vulnerable to con artists who speak their native language and know their social customs."
In many cases, affinity fraud is conducted as a classic Ponzi scheme. The fraudster pays out high dividends to early investors using funds received from customers who sign up later in the process. Flush with success, these early investors then promote the investment offer to their friends and family, allowing the con artist to continue his scheme right up until the moment he skips town.
NFA's Investor Alert, which can be downloaded from the Investor Learning Center section of NFA's Web site (www.nfa.futures.org), lists several steps investors should take to avoid becoming a victim of affinity fraud.
NFA is the premier independent provider of innovative and efficient regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the futures markets.