Wednesday’s Word: Affinity Fraud

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious, ethnic, or military communities, the elderly, or professional groups, by pretending to be or actually being a member of such groups. Affinity fraudsters seek to manipulate the trust, friendship, and esprit de corps found in close-knit groups and use it to their advantage to sell fraudulent investments. In some cases, affinity fraudsters even enlist respected community, religious, or military leaders from within a group to spread the word about a scam and convince other members that a fraudulent investment is legitimate.

For more information about affinity fraud, read more here, here and here.