True Fraud Stories

Having just returned from libertine Las Vegas attending the Libertarian-leaning Freedom Fest, I was ready to discount this latest taxpayer-funded, fed effort to curb fraudsters as another example of wasteful and ineffective government spending. But no, hat tip to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on its launch of “True Fraud Stories,” a new video series detailing the methods of actual fraudsters cunning smart investors into fraudulent investment schemes, which result in big losses (check it out at smartcheck.gov/videos). Sure the camera works and direction are over dramatized with an unnecessary music track, but the victims’ stories are as real as the boiler room bums that are portrayed.

The debut episode, “A Silvery Slope: Bob’s Story,” profiled the true story of a military veteran with an advanced degree in business who subsequently loses his life savings to a Florida precious metals sales scam—despite insisting on face-to-face, on-site due diligence meetings with the broker and the firm. If only he would have visited FINRA’s smartcheck.gov website, he would have learned that the broker was not licensed.

Next up, a two-episode feature, “The truth behind binary options fraud.”