Romance, cryptocurrency scams was top threat to Nevada investors in 2022, officials say

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KTNV) — Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar is highlighting cryptocurrency and romance scams as the top threats to Nevada investors in 2022.

The Securities Division of the Secretary of State’s Office is urging Nevadans to be cautious of high-risk, high-reward investment schemes that may appear online. Additionally, as we approach Valentine’s Day, to be wary of new romantic partners urging you to invest in opportunities where you are pressured with immediate deadlines, and promised guaranteed, high returns.

“Fraudsters often prey on our most vulnerable communities, and we want Nevadans to know the warning signs before offering up their personal data and potentially losing money and confidentiality,” said Secretary Aguilar. “In an effort to curb threats against an individual’s security in 2023, we want to bring awareness to the biggest threats facing Nevadans today.”

These Nevada fraudsters were also amongst the top 2022 threats were determined by a survey of securities regulators conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association. The annual survey is designed to identify the most problematic products, practices or schemes facing the public. The following were cited most often by state and provincial securities regulators:

  • Investments tied to cryptocurrencies and digital assets 
  • Fraud offerings related to promissory notes 
  • Money scams offered through social media and internet investment offers 
  • Financial schemes connected to Self-Directed Individual Retirement Accounts 

“Every day in the Securities Division, we’re working to help victims of fraud find justice and help bring awareness to our most vulnerable populations to prevent these attacks that can have devastating impacts on their personal finances,” said Erin Houston, Deputy Secretary of State for Securities.

If you believe you have been the victim of securities fraud or would like the Securities Division of the Nevada Secretary of State to investigate a potential violation, you can file a report online here.

The public is urged to practice the following tips to identify and avoid investment scams:

  • Scammers are creating fake websites and social media accounts to obscure their identities. The public should always take steps to identify phony accounts by looking closely at content, including suspicious domain names and accounts.  
  • Beware of fake client reviews. Fraudsters often reference or publish positive, but false, testimonials purportedly drafted by satisfied customers. These testimonials create the appearance the promoter is reliable and has already earned significant profits in the past, encouraging new investors to reap the same financial benefits as prior investors. In many cases, though, the reviews are drafted not by a satisfied customer but by the scammer. 
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bad actors often entice new investors by promising the payment of safe, lucrative, guaranteed returns over relatively short terms – sometimes measured in hours or days instead of months or years. These representations are often a red flag for fraud, as all investments carry some degree of risk, and the potential profits are typically correlated with the degree of risk. 

To learn more about protecting your information and investments, read our Nevada Investor Guide.

The information provided was released by A public information officer from the Nevada Secretary of State.