Romance, cryptocurrency scam threatened investors in Nevada in 2022, officials say

CARSON CITY, Nevada (KTNV) – Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar highlights cryptocurrency and romance scams as the top threats facing Nevada investors in 2022.

The Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of State urges Nevada residents to exercise caution with high-risk, high-return investment plans that may appear online. Also, as we approach Valentine’s Day, beware of new romantic partners who urge you to invest in opportunities that pressure you with immediate deadlines and promise guaranteed, high returns.

“Fraudsters often prey on our most vulnerable communities, and we want Nevada residents to know the warning signs before they give out their personal information and potentially lose money and confidentiality,” Secretary Aguilar said. “In an effort to mitigate threats to a person’s safety in 2023, we want to raise awareness of the top threats facing Nevada residents today.”

These Nevada scammers were also among the top threats in 2022, according to a survey of securities regulators conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association. The annual survey aims to identify the most problematic products, practices or systems faced by the public. The following were most frequently cited by state and local securities regulators:

  • Investments tied to cryptocurrencies and digital assets
  • Fraud offers related to promissory notes
  • Money scam offered through social media and internet investment offers
  • Financial plans associated with self-directed individual retirement accounts

“Every day in the Securities Division, we work to help fraud victims find justice and raise awareness among our most vulnerable populations to prevent these attacks, which can have a devastating impact on their personal finances,” said Erin Houston, deputy State Secretary 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 possible violation, You can file a complaint online here.

The public is urged to follow the tips below to spot and avoid investment scams:

  • Scammers create fake websites and social media accounts to disguise their identities. The public should always take steps to identify fake accounts by closely examining content, including suspicious domain names and accounts.
  • Beware of fake customer reviews. Scammers often refer or post positive but false testimonials that claim to be written by happy customers. These testimonials give the impression that the promoter is reliable and has a history of making significant profits, encouraging new investors to reap the same financial benefits as previous investors. In many cases, however, the ratings do not come from a satisfied customer, but from the scammer.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bad actors often lure new investors by promising the payment of safe, lucrative, guaranteed returns over relatively short terms — sometimes measured in hours or days rather than months or years. These depictions are often a red flag for scams, as all investments involve some degree of risk and the potential rewards typically correlate with the level of risk.

To learn more about protecting your data and investment, read our Nevada Investor Guide.

The information provided was released by a Public Information Officer for the Nevada Secretary of State.