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Consumer Daily Reports

Pyramid scheme and money concept
Photo (c) Cimmerian - Getty Images
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged 11 people for creating and promoting Forsage, a fraudulent cryptocurrency pyramid and Ponzi scheme that raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors worldwide. While the lead actors in the scheme are foreign nationals, several of the charged individuals are U.S.-based promoters who were hired to pump up Forsage on websites and social media platforms.

The SEC said Forsage has operated as a pyramid scheme for more than two years. The fraudulent system allowed retail investors to enter into transactions via smart contracts that operate on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains. 

Unfortunately for defrauded investors, cease and desist actions by federal, state, and foreign officials failed to stop Forsage from continuing to perpetuate its scheme. Emboldened by the regulators’ failures, the defendants allegedly continued to promote Forsage while denying legal claims on YouTube, its website, and other means.

The SEC didn’t release figures on how many people were ripped off by the scheme, but ConsumerAffairs found 7,500 members who were part of a Forsage-related Facebook group.

"As the complaint alleges, Forsage is a fraudulent pyramid scheme launched on a massive scale and aggressively marketed to investors," said Carolyn Welshhans, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. "Fraudsters cannot circumvent the federal securities laws by focusing their schemes on smart contracts and blockchains."

While the eleven who were charged have yet to comment, the SEC said two of those charged have agreed to settle the complaint. One other investor has agreed to pay penalties.

How to protect yourself from pyramid schemes

Pyramid and Ponzi schemes are investment scams that promise high rates of return with little risk. The scams build credibility by giving early investors returns on their investments. However, that money comes from the investments of later investors and not as an actual return that honest investments – such as real estate or stocks – produce. 

The SEC has created a website – Investor.gov – that details the characteristics of these schemes that investors should be on the lookout for. Here are the common warning signs:

High returns with little or no risk. Naturally, every investment carries some degree of risk, with high-return investments involving more of it. The SEC says investment opportunities that use the word “guaranteed” in their pitch should raise red flags for investors.

Overly consistent returns. Anyone who’s invested in the stock market knows that they’ll probably have to endure the occasional spikes and dips. To that end, the SEC says investors should be skeptical about any investment that regularly generates positive returns regardless of overall market conditions.

Unregistered investments. If an investment isn’t registered with the SEC – like most Ponzi schemes –  that is a red flag that investors should investigate further. Registration is important because it provides investors with access to information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances.

Unlicensed sellers. Most Ponzi schemes are carried out by unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms. Federal and state securities laws require investment professionals and firms to be licensed or registered. Every investor should ask for proof of licensing and registration and, if possible, verify it with the SEC.

One thing that ConsumerAffairs found that might be helpful is the SEC’s “Investment Adviser Public Disclosure” site. It allows investors to search the names of investment companies and promoters, including their years of experience and disclosures.

Secretive, complex strategies. If you see an investment that’s difficult to understand, or you can’t get complete information about it, you’re better off keeping your money to yourself.

Issues with paperwork. Ponzi and pyramid schemers frequently make mistakes on account statements. If you see one, it could be a sign that your funds are not being invested as promised.

Difficulty receiving payments. Lastly, be suspicious if you don’t receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out your investment. Remember – Ponzi scheme promoters need your money to show that the scheme works for the investors upstream. If an investment group tries to prevent you from cashing out by offering even higher returns for staying put, you should take action immediately and seek help from officials if necessary.



Posted: 2022-08-02 15:28:51

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FTC Video: Cómo evitar estafas de ingresos | Federal Trade Commission


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Aprenda a detectar propuestas de negocios, programas de asesoría y oportunidades de inversiones que son estafas y cómo evitarlas. Para aprender más visite https://ftc.gov/estafasdeingresos *********************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 14th Dec 2020 04:05:45   By: FTCvideos

FTC Video: How to Avoid Income Scams | Federal Trade Commission


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Learn about scams disguised as legitimate business offers, coaching programs, and investment opportunities and how to avoid them. Learn more at https://www.ftc.gov/incomescams. **************************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 14th Dec 2020 04:04:51   By: FTCvideos

FTC Video: Cómo Reportar Fraude en ReporteFraude.ftc.gov | Federal Trade Commission


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Este video demuestra cómo reportar fraude, estafas, y malas prácticas comerciales a la Comisión Federal de Comercio (Federal Trade Commission, FTC) en https://ReporteFraude.ftc.gov y por qué es importante hacerlo. ****************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 5th Nov 2020 03:59:43   By: FTCvideos

DIY Video: Lettuce Table Project | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas


Related Videos On: Lettuce Table Project | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas


Melissa finds a fun and inventive way to recycle an old table and a kitchen sink. They’re going to get a new lease on life as a lettuce planter! It’s a simple project you’ll be able to do this weekend and might even get the kids interested in gardening and their greens. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 11th Aug 2022 11:30:03   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: The Right Tool for the Right Job | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas


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Charlie show's you which tool to use for which job in the garden. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 9th Aug 2022 11:45:01   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: TINY Backyard Makeover | DIY | Great Home Ideas


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Charlie and Adam makeover a tiny backyard for a couple in their first home. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 7th Aug 2022 11:45:00   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: Amazing Homes - Basin Beach House | HOME | Great Home Ideas


Related Videos On: Amazing Homes - Basin Beach House | HOME | Great Home Ideas


Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 6th Aug 2022 11:45:02   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: Easy Front of House Makeover | DIY | Great Home Ideas


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Joh Griggs shows you how to give your place street appeal with some quick and easy jobs. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 5th Aug 2022 11:45:03   By: Great Home Ideas

Business Video: Wall Street Week - Full Show (08/12/2022)


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Joanne Feeney, Partner and Portfolio Manager with Advisors Capitol Management, and Kristina Hooper, Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist on whether the week in the markets. Lawrence Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, on the cooling inflation data, and Melissa Kearney, Aspen Economic Strategy Group Director, on the economic impacts of immigration. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 13th Aug 2022 12:44:30   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: Balance of Power Full Show (08/12/2022)


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On Bloomberg's 'Balance of Power' with David Westin: Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School Dean Emeritus, discusses Fed rate hikes, inflation; Jane Harman, Wilson Center President Emerita distinguished fellow, on Trump, DOJ investigation; Kevin Rudd. Asia Society president, on China's motivations.

Published: 12th Aug 2022 11:26:32   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: Market May Be Too Optimistic


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Joanne Feeney, Partner and Portfolio Manager with Advisors Capitol Management, and Kristina Hooper, Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist on whether the market's response to the July CPI report is overly rose. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 12th Aug 2022 11:17:17   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: Tale of Two Consumers


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Joanne Feeney, Partner and Portfolio Manager with Advisors Capitol Management, and Kristina Hooper, Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist on overseas investment opportunities in today's markets, and the state of the US consumer. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 12th Aug 2022 11:06:43   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: What's After the Downturn?


Related Videos On: What's After the Downturn?


Lawrence Summers, Former US Treasury Secretary, and Melissa Kearney, Aspen Economic Strategy Group Director, on what comes after the potential downturn, and on the risk of running out of workers. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 12th Aug 2022 10:41:31   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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