The high cost of investment fraud in 2022 was staggering at nearly $4 billion in the United States alone. If you fell victim to investment fraud in 2022, you need an investment loss lawyer to evaluate your case to determine whether you can recover any of your losses.
Types of Fraud That Rose in 2022
Investment fraud comes in many forms, including Ponzi schemes, cryptocurrency-related deceptions, and social media- and internet-fueled pump-and-dumps. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ranked investment-related fraud as number four on the Top Ten Fraud Categories list in the fourth quarter of 2022. Of the 21,925 reports of investment fraud the FTC received, 74 percent involved a loss of money. The median amount of money lost was $7,144.00, the highest of all fraud categories. Investors lost a shocking $930.5 million overall. Perhaps unsurprisingly for those who followed the news, social media was the primary source of contact employed by fraudsters, while cryptocurrency was the leading payment method. Residents of California and Florida filed the most fraud reports.
What Types of Investment Fraud Hurt the Most?
The $3.8 billion lost to investment fraud in 2022 was more than double the $1.8 billion loss reported in 2021. Costly types of investment fraud include those related to:
- Real estate investments
- Social media-fueled market manipulation
Watchdogs warn would-be investors to look out for the following signs of fraud:
- Inducements of high reward with little risk
- Investments tied to or involving cryptocurrencies
- Investment professionals working offshore or remotely
- Requests to recruit friends into the investment
- Websites and communications without concrete information on the firm or the opportunity it’s offering
What Should I Do if I’m the Victim of Investment Fraud?
If you believe you were the victim of investment fraud, FINRA – the investment industry’s self-regulatory organization – recommends taking these steps to seek restitution for your losses:
- Open a file – Create your own investment fraud file with all the information related to the fraud. This should include any emails or correspondence from the perpetrator with their contact information. Create a timeline of events while it is still fresh in your mind. Keep copies of any reports you made to law enforcement.
- Contact your state’s Office of the Attorney General – The Attorney General’s office should offer resources useful in the aftermath of investment fraud. Educate yourself about your rights and options for pursuing recovery.
- Report the fraud – Consider reporting the fraud to FINRA, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Contact local law enforcement – Alert the investment fraud to local law enforcement so they can create a report of the incident, the first step in possibly recovering your losses. Your local police department may also recommend that you report the fraud to the district attorney or the state’s attorney general.
- Contact an investment loss attorney – Call an investment loss attorney so they can evaluate the circumstances of your losses. Although not all investment losses stem from fraudulent activity, an experienced attorney can quickly determine if you have a viable claim. The attorney may recommend proceeding with a civil lawsuit or advise whether mediation or arbitration could be fruitful as a less expensive means of pursuing the matter.
Contact an Investment Fraud Attorney at Erez Law
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