Medicare Phishing Scheme Allegedly Responsible For Stealing Millions from Senior Citizens

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

phoneThe FTC recently helped halt a telemarketing phishing scheme that was targeting senior citizens entitled to Medicare benefits. The telemarketers allegedly called consumers and stated that they were calling on behalf of Medicare and that they were providing information about Medicare benefits. They then asked to verify consumers’ identities through use of personal information, including bank account numbers, allegedly assuring consumers that the information was being only used to verify their identity, and they would not be charged for the information provided.

However, the telemarketers allegedly instead used the information to remotely create checks drawn from the consumers’ bank accounts. Continue reading

Frontier Funds: Travel with Care

By: Brittany DeDiego, Fall 2014 Student Intern

passportBrazil and China might sound like a fun, exotic vacation spots, but should they be a hotspot for investing? FINRA has posted an investor alert for “frontier funds” that invest in developing securities markets such as Argentina, Lebanon, Nigeria, Slovenia, and Vietnam. Americans may choose to invest in foreign markets as a way to diversify and spread investment risk among foreign markets and economies, and to take advantage of the potential for growth in the emerging market. However, there is also a high risk associated with these frontier investments because of the level of uncertainty associated with these developing markets. Continue reading

Clinic Interns Provide Education on Preventing Investment Fraud

fall2014corbinOn Wednesday, October 15, 2014, Investor Advocacy Clinic student interns Ryan Corbin, Kori Eskridge, and Kristina Ludwig presented “Fraud Watch 2014: How to Spot and Prevent Investment Fraud” to a group of Georgia State University College of Law students. The event was co-sponsored by the College of Law’s Wealth Management and Estate Planning group. Corbin began by introducing the group and explaining the mission of the Investor Advocacy Clinic. He then explained that anyone with money is a target for investment fraud, driving home the relevance of the presentation. Continue reading

Friday’s Fraud: Source Credibility

By Kristina Ludwig, Fall 2014 Student Intern

sourceThough there are many different types of fraud, these schemes are often perpetuated using the same psychological tactics to get you interested and invested. One such tactic is Source Credibility, which is where the fraudster will use his name or credentials to shore up confidence in the potential victim to influence him to invest.  According to SaveAndInvest.org’s How to Spot the Red Flags of Fraud pamphlet, a phony seller will try to build credibility by appearing successful or attaching himself to a reputable organization. A seller might also try to dress up his office with framed diplomas or awards created in MS Paint or Photoshop, so SaveAndInvest.org suggests checking out the seller’s actual qualifications by following the following steps: Continue reading

SR-FINRA-2014-026 Rule Change: FINRA Increases Arbitrator Honoraria

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

gavelThe SEC approved FINRA’s proposed rule change to amend FINRA’s Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes and the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes to increase certain fees for the overall purpose of increasing arbitrator honoraria. Continue reading

Wednesday’s Word: Secure Websites

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Before you divulge personal information online, make sure that the website you visiting is a secure website. When a website is secure, the information you transmit is being encrypted into a code that is not readable to others. In order to tell if a website is encrypted, look for “https” at the start of the web address. If you are using an unsecured website, try to limit the information you share on that website. Additionally, try not to use the same password on different sites. This could give someone who gains access to one of your accounts access to all of your accounts.

 

SEC Targets International Pyramid Scheme

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

pyramidThe SEC recently announced charges against the operators of an international pyramid scheme that raised more than $129 million from investors worldwide, primarily in the U.S., China, and Taiwan.   Continue reading