Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield warns of new emerging investor threats

Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield warns of new emerging investor threats

CHEYENNE – Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield recently announced that new emerging threats have been identified for investors in 2015, including schemes involving binary options, marijuana-related businesses, stream-of-income investments and digital currency.

“Many of the top threats facing investors involve old schemes cloaked in new product lines,” said Secretary Maxfield. “We are seeing classic threats to investors morph into new or altered dangers, many fueled by the Internet. Overarching all of these threats are unlicensed agents selling unregistered products to unsuspecting investors.”

The following list of top threats facing unwary investors throughout North America was compiled by the Enforcement Section of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Compliance Division is a member.

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Emerging Threats:
• Binary Options
• Marijuana Industry Investments
• Stream-of-Income Investments
• Digital Currency & Cybersecurity Risks

Persistent Threats:

• Reg D/Rule 506 Private Offerings
• Pyramid and Other Ponzi Schemes
• Real Estate Schemes, Including Those Using Promissory Notes
• Affinity Fraud
• Internet Fraud (including Social Media and Crowdfunding)
• Oil & Gas Investments in Fracking

Unregistered individuals continue to be the most common subject of enforcement actions by state securities regulators.

“People cannot be reminded enough that they should independently verify any investment opportunity as well as the background of the person and company offering
the investment,” Secretary Maxfield said.“The Secretary of State’s Compliance Division can provide detailed background information about those who are registered to sell securities or provide investment advice in Wyoming, and about the products being offered. Investors should do business only with reputable investment firms and should report any suspicion of fraud to us.”

The Compliance Division of the Secretary of State’s Office welcomes calls from anyone before they invest.

“We prefer to prevent fraud, rather than fighting it after the fact,” Maxfield said.

Specific information and cautions about these products and practices; and how to protect yourself is available on the Secretary of State’s website at
http://soswy.state.wy.us/Compliance/Compliance.aspx or by calling 307-777-7370.