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Be on Guard Against Affinity Fraud

The evil of “affinity fraud” is that normally savvy or even suspicious people let their guard down when offered an investment by a member of a group to which they belong and with whom they have a common background and interest—whether ethnic, religious, professional, or the military. Your checkbook is simply more likely to open when the approach is made by a member of your own group or when you hear other members of the group are investing.


Unfortunately, con artists and unscrupulous investment promoters often tout a legitimate or fabricated group affiliation to gain your trust.  Before you consider investing, arm yourself with some fraud prevention tips:

Beware of testimonials from other group members. Scam artists frequently pay out high returns to early investors using money from later investors.

Do your homework by getting a prospectus or some form of written information that details the risks in the investment and procedures to get your money out.

Get professional advice from an objective third party not in your group– accountant, attorney, or financial planner–to evaluate the investment.

Read more about how to
stop affinity fraud in your community. To order this free publication, visit the Fraud Prevention Resource Library. For more general information on wise investing and fraud prevention, visit the Investor Resource Library, General, A-Z.