BBB warning of fake investment brokers
WORCESTER, Mass. (WWLP)– The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central New England is warning consumers about scammers posing as investment brokers.
A woman from Worcester recently lost $20,000 after someone claiming to be a broker at a local firm stole her money. The scammer had stolen the identity of a legitimate broker at a well known national financial business, using a copycat website, setting up an account and providing a contract.
The victim was searching for investment opportunities online and found the name and contact information for the broker, and upon investigation found the broker had good reviews and a website that looked real. She deposited $20,000 in an online “wallet” to invest in cryptocurrency.
Ultimately, the scam broker stopped contact with the victim and she no longer can access her money. Additionally, the broker whose identity was stolen now has her reputation tarnished.
The victim contacted the BBB to investigate. The BBB contacted the real company and learned from the security team that registered brokers are required to publish their information making them targets for scammers. The thieves use social media to advertise, including on legitimate online how-to investing videos. The security team said that that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are experiencing a rise in…