Ponzi Schemes Hit Highest Level in a Decade

February 11, 2020

With a booming stock market, investors are being lured by the promise of easy money. Unfortunately, fraudsters are taking advantage of investors at a rate not seen in a decade.

State and Federal authorities uncovered 60 Ponzi schemes last year, with a total of $3.25 billion in investor funds. This is more than double the previous year’s amount and the largest amount of money tied up such schemes since 2010.

While troubling, last year’s number pales in comparison to the years following the financial crisis. In 2008, Ponzi schemes bilked investors out of $23 billion. Most investors caught up in a Ponzi scheme don’t learn the truth until a stock market crash, when they go to pull money out of the market only to learn it does not exist. Experts are unsure if 2019’s surge is an anomaly or the beginning of a trend.

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