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Look out for investment scams

The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced the 2013 list of financial products, practices and services that are the greatest potential threats that trap unsuspecting investors.

The recent lifting of an 80-year-old ban on the advertising of private offerings, mandated by the JOBS Act, has the potential to lead to greater abuse by unscrupulous promoters.

The implementation of the JOBS Act also has created opportunities for unregulated third parties to provide ancillary services. 

The following list was compiled by the North American Securities Administrators Association.

2013 Top Threats to Investors and Small Businesses

  • Private offerings
  • Real estate investment schemes
  • High-yield investment and ponzi schemes
  • Affinity fraud
  • Scam artists using self-directed IRAs to mask fraud
  • Risky oil and gas drilling programs
  • Proxy trading accounts
  • Digital currency
  • Capital-raising pitfalls
  • Unregulated third-party service providers

Visit the Investor Education section on the Commerce website,, for more information.