When I hear words like scam and fraud I immediately get an irritated look on my face. We all work too hard to be ripped off. It happens to all kinds of people. Chalk it up to our trusting nature.

Oxford Dictionary defines Fraud as "wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain." Turns out there's quite a bit of fraud happening in Colorado, investment fraud.

Carlson Law, an investment fraud company, released its study on the State of Investment Fraud in 2023 after analyzing the most recent data from the FBI and the FTC.

The study found "Colorado ranks No. 13 losing $58 million to investment fraud in 2022. Nationally, $3.82 billion was lost, up from $1.6 billion the previous year."

They went on to explain that "investment fraud has become the No. 1 costliest type of fraud in the U.S. The unprecedented rise is due to crypto-investment scams which stole a record $2.57 billion last year."

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Turns out the new world of AI isn't going to help. Ponzi and pyramid schemes have been stealing people's money for a long time, but watch out for a whole new level of deceit featuring "voice cloning" and "deep fake videos".

If these are new terms to you, you're not alone. Business Insider explains "Deepfakes use AI to replace the likeness of one person with another in video or audio. There are concerns that deepfakes can be used to create fake news and misleading videos." Excessive blinking of the video subject seems to be something to look for when figuring out if a video is fake, plus, they usually feature a celebrity or billionaire.

Carlson Law has 4 Types of Investment Fraud to Avoid in 2023:

  • AI ‘Deep Fake’ and ‘Voice Cloning’ Fraud
  • Crypto Initial Coin Offering: A company seeks to raise capital for an ICO that promises high returns on an innovative project that does not exist.
  • Real Estate ‘Phantom Property’: Real estate agents create property listings for a lucrative real estate investment opportunity on a property that doesn't exist.
  • Ponzi Schemes: An advisor promises high returns to attract new investors.

We have to be vigilant. I stick to the old saying "if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't."

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