Joe Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission, has long been a thorn in the side of Scam artists operating in our state. Joe says he has seen lots of scam artists during the past 20 years. He points out that besides religion – which is the most successful method for scams – fraudsters are adept at coming up with various ways to bilk funds from folks. The fraud level in the United States is reported to be somewhere in excess of $20- to $25 billion a year. Joe says the following areas are where fraud is prevelant:
Regardless of the avenue a scammer utilizes, Joe says they find willing investors because lots of folks are looking to turn their money worries over to someone else. The elderly who fear outliving their savings and the middle-aged population who have seen their investments shrink during the economic downturn and have little saved for retirement are prime targets. Joe observed that folks are “desperate for some safe and relatively easy way to make money. That makes them susceptible.”
Additionally, young adults have become victims of the scam artists. Many in this age group will have lingering student debt and don’t trust about the stock market and traditional investments. They also are fully aware of the economic downturn of 2008 and want to know what else is out there for them. Joe says con artists understand “human psychology” at every age level and use that knowledge in promoting their scams.
Joe and the staff at the Commission have done outstanding work in the past two decades and work hard to protect the people of Alabama against the scam artists. If you need more information about investment frauds, or you need to report suspicious activity, go to the Commission website at asc.alabama.gov. You can also call the Commission at 800-222-1253 or write them at P.O. Box 304700, Montgomery, AL 36130-4700.
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