Those who use the social networking site LinkedIn.com should be alert to investment fraud on the site. A possible multi-billion dollar investment scam has surfaced which should make users cautious before going after any too-good-to-be-true online offer. Regulators say LinkedIn has become another online platform for promoting bogus investments.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an enforcement actions in January against Anthony Fields, an Illinois-based investment adviser, alleged to have made fraudulent offers in excess of $500 billion in false securities through different social media networks.
“Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes. Social media is no exception, and today’s enforcement action reflects our determination to pursue fraudulent activity on new and evolving platforms” said Robert Kaplain, co-chief of the asset management unit of the SEC’s enforcement division – Source.
Fields is accused of using false and misleading information in SEC filings when he represented himself as a broker-dealer (even though he wasn’t registered with the SEC) and failed to keep mandatory records.
The case exemplifies the effort in Washington to crack down on fraudulent investment schemes. The SEC’s case is centered around Field’s use of the website LinkedIn. He has allegedly posted fake “bank guarantees” and “medium-term notes” supposedly tied to J P Morgan Chase, UBS and other large banks – Source.
More than 135 million professionals around the world are on LinkedIn.com. It is a website predominately used to highlight the skills, talents and professional experiences of its users. It functions as an online resume, with many working, professional, career-driven and/or job-searching persons using it for present and future employment efforts.