Social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, have become key tools for U.S. investors. Whether they are seeking research on particular stocks, background information on a broker-dealer or investment adviser, guidance on an overall investment strategy, up to date news or to simply want to discuss the markets with others, investors turn to social media. Social media also offers a number of features that criminals may find attractive. Fraudsters can use social media in their efforts to appear legitimate, to hide behind anonymity, and to reach many people at low cost. For additional information, see these Investor Alerts and Bulletins:
Investor Alert: Social Media and Investing - Avoiding Fraud
Investor Bulletin: Social Media and Investing – Understanding Your Accounts
Investor Bulletin: Social Media and Investing - Tips for Seniors
Always be wary of unsolicited offers to invest. Unsolicited sales pitches may be part of a fraudulent investment scheme. If you receive an unsolicited message from someone you don’t know containing a “can’t miss” investment, your best move maybe to pass up the “opportunity” and report it to the SEC Complaint Center.