The Division of Securities along with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released a new list of Top Investor Threats. This year's list has the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or "JOBS Act" in mind, the law which eased many of the advertising and marketing restrictions in the securities industry.
The JOBS Act, signed into law by President Obama in April 2012, presents a new challenge to investors who want to make informed decisions about where they invest their hard-earned money. Lifting the ban on many of the advertising restrictions in this industry has created "new and confusing messages," in the words of Keith Woodwell, Director of the Utah Division of Securities.
Three categories of investor threats comprise the 2013 list: persistent investor threats, new threats to small businesses and new threats to investors.
The first category warns against private offerings,
Ponzi schemes, high-risk
oil and gas investments, and the like. The list warns small businesses against capital-raising pitfalls and unregulated third-party service providers, both made possible by the recent changes under the JOBS Act. There are also some new threats to investors, proxy trading accounts and digital currency.
- Proxy Trading Accounts: This potential threat happens when individual investors allow another unlicensed individual to manage their investments on their behalf. By doing so, the investor is allowing this third-party access to sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords to brokerage accounts, which could be exploited.
- Digital Currency: A good example of this is Bitcoin, a form of digital currency that allows consumers to make purchases without using actual coinage. Since the coinage is virtual, it is usually an unregulated, intangible asset. As digital currency becomes increasingly more popular with consumers, it's possible the investment industry will see scammers and fraudsters attempting to cash in on this trend.
Meyer Wilson is dedicated to protecting investors against fraudulent investment practices like the ones described in the 2013 Top Investor Threats list. If you or someone you know has become a victim of securities fraud and suffered substantial financial losses, call an investment fraud attorney at Meyer Wilson today for a free evaluation of your case.