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Securities fraud: here's a creative scheme targeting investors

The following narrative in today's blog post flatly underscores that scammers in the securities realm will go to virtually any length to lighten the wallets of the investing public.

And the fraudulent schemes they come up with are limited only by their imaginations.

Sadly, recurrent media reports from across the country, including Connecticut-sourced stories, readily indicate that con artists operating in the securities industry have very creative imaginations.

Here's a newly noted ruse brought to the public's attention recently by the arm of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that oversees and has enforcement powers over most of the country's brokers: completely legitimate-looking investment information conveyed by named parties on well-established investment platforms (e.g., online research websites and securities-related publications) that turns out to be, well, not legitimate.

In fact, states FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), deceptive articles are sometimes purposely planted amidst truly studied efforts on bona-fide investing websites and other platforms.

Some of those hyped marketing pitches seeking investors to fork over hard-earned dollars list bogus author names and are written by criminally minded individuals being paid for their efforts. The statistics are skewed. The promised returns are lies. The analysis is anything but independent and objective.

FINRA understandably counsels members of the investing public to be aware that such artifice exists and that it marks fraudulent efforts that arguably set a new standard for disingenuous scamming attempts.

Earlier this year, the SEC filed civil charges alleging fraud against more than two dozen individuals and business entities for the role they played in authoring "deceptive articles" on websites visited by large numbers of investors.

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