US Regulators are warning against scams that are being perpetrated out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Economic Downturn.  On March 20, the SEC tweeted out warnings about investment scams, earmarking certain “too good to be true” investment scams:

  • Fraudulent or unregistered offer or sale of securities, including things such as:
    • Ponzi schemes
    • Pyramid schemes 
    • High-Yield Investment Programs
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds or securities
  • Manipulation of a security's price or volume 
  • Insider trading
  • False or misleading statements about a company (including false or misleading SEC reports or financial statements)
  • Failure to file required reports with the SEC
  • Bribery of, or improper payments to, foreign officials
  • Fraudulent conduct associated with municipal securities transactions or public pension plans  

The SEC is standing by to receive complaints filed in its online system:

As well, the Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission are warning about scams designed to steal stimulus relief checks.  Emails and phone calls from scammers posing as government representatives are being made.  Promises about getting money more quickly or doubling the check are offered in exchange for providing banking information.   Both Treasury and the FTC caution, of course, that the Government will never ask for personal banking information via text, email or phone.  The simple caution is never to provide such information no matter how convincing the call, email or text.  

For advice, consult with the regulators, State Attorney General’s office, Better Business Bureaus or your counsel.