Avoid Online Investment Fraud

Attorney General Schneiderman urges ordinary investors to be careful when considering investment opportunities advertised online and consider these tips for recognizing and avoiding fraudulent solicitations on the Internet.

  • Don’t Wire Money to Someone You Don’t Know
    • It’s probably a scam, and you’ll probably never see that money again.
  • Don’t Share Your Personal Information
    • Anyone who asks for your bank account details or Social Security number is probably trying to steal your money – or even your identity.
  • Double Your Money?  Triple Your Money?  More Like Steal Your Money
    • Don't be tempted by outlandish returns, particularly when returns are promised within weeks or months.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t Believe in “Guaranteed” Returns
    • Investing involves risk, and big returns usually come with big risks.  Even someone who isn’t out to steal your money may invest it in a financial product that’s much riskier than you were led to believe.
  • Don’t Fall for “Must Invest Now”
    • Don’t be pressured into a quick decision.  Better yet, get a second opinion.  Show the post to a trusted friend or family member for a reality check.
  • Don’t Invest if You Don’t Understand
    • Con artists often claim to use complicated strategies that the average person can't understand.  But these supposedly complex schemes are usually pretty simple: they’ll take your money and run.
  • Fees?  What Fees?
    • Investment promoters may conveniently forget to mention their management fees or penalties for early withdrawal.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Don’t Pay for “Inside Information”
    • A Wall Street insider is not going to share valuable information with a stranger.

To file a complaint concerning online investment fraud, please fill out the complaint form available here.