Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Warns Georgians About Coronavirus Investment Scams

Published 2:59 pm Friday, March 27, 2020

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is warning all Georgians about scammers using fear about the COVID-19 pandemic for fraudulent or deceptive investment opportunities. Raffensperger recommends Georgians remain wary of COVID-19-related investments and do their homework before making any investments.

Be Cautious Of Coronavirus Cures. Con artists will claim a company or product can cure or stop COVID-19 in an effort to make it seem like the investment is a sure thing. These claims can be part of “pump-and-dump” schemes where fraudsters boost a company’s stock price by promoting positive, but fake, information before cashing out their own holdings when the demand and price go up.

Too Good To Be True. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Promises of guaranteed returns usually indicate fraud at worst or a scam in the best case.

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Do Your Homework. Staying informed is harder than ever with the deluge of information about COVID-19 and the increasing complexity of the financial world. Nevertheless, be sure to research any investments so you know what exactly the investment is, who is managing it, where the money goes, and how you can get it back if necessary.

Check For Official Registration. Ask those selling securities if the securities are registered with the SEC or the Georgia Division of Securities and Charities. The sale of unregistered securities may violate state and federal laws.

Think Before You Click. Before clicking on any links sent by email, text, or through any social media platform, be sure that you know the sender and have verified the link is not a virus or malware.

Fake Experts. Especially as COVID-19 continues to pose a threat, watch out for emails purporting to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or any experts claiming to have inside information about the virus. These are likely scams.