Law \ Legal

Here’s A Fun New Addition To The Fraud Lexicon

If you have a smartphone or a social media account or an e-mail address, you’ve undoubtedly received a message reading simply, “Hi,” or an invitation to a WhatsApp group about cryptocurrencies, from an address or phone number or name that you do not recognize. And if you are like most people, you have ignored it or reported it under the almost-certainly true suspicion that it is a scam, or at best an innocent mistake that does not require a response from you.

Of course, a fraud doesn’t need everyone to take the bait, or nearly everyone, or even a majority. A tiny handful will do. And, indeed, at least a tiny handful have been striking up conversations with these mysterious unknowns, only to learn that while they might be a bit ham-handed with a phone number or Twitter handle, they’re actually quite sophisticated investors with an in on certain newly-public Chinese small-caps, and perhaps you, total stranger they definitely only accidentally got in touch with, might like to place a few hundred or thousand or million dollars into this can’t-miss investment, in exchange for the trouble caused you by an errant message. Certainly, enough are taking this bait to have the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority concerned.

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