Scam & Fraud Knowledge Center

Equity Trust Company knows the threat of fraud is a real concern for self-directed IRA investors. Our clients are free to invest in anything permitted by the IRS to be held in an IRA. With that great freedom to explore exciting investment options, comes the potential for con artists and fraud schemes to attempt to take advantage of an unsuspecting investor. Equity Trust Company wants to see its clients grow their investments to create a lasting legacy not lining the pockets of scam artists.

Identifying Scams & Fraudulent Investments

Ask yourself a few questions about the potential investment such as: “Is it too good to be true?” or “Can I easily explain what the investment is and how it works?” Learn more about the common signs of fraud and other tips to help identify scams. The ability to identify fraud sets you on the right track to review a potential investment with your personal financial team to see if it’s the real deal or if someone is trying to con you.

Performing Due Diligence

To protect against fraud and scams, Equity Trust Company’s clients need to perform due diligence on every investment. Review potential investments with your personal financial team to see if the gains and losses are natural before you invest. This is one way to minimize your chances of becoming a victim to a Ponzi scheme. You should also verify the standing and legitimacy of the company or person seeking your investment dollars before committing. In addition to the list of questions to ask when researching an investment, a list of resources is available from the Retirement Industry Trust Association and Equity Trust Company.

Scams, Fraudulent Investment & Ponzi Scheme Types

Equity Trust Company urges our clients to watch out for scams such as pyramid and/or Ponzi schemes. Be aware of these common types of fraud as you seek out new investing opportunities. Carefully research each opportunity to help mitigate risks, especially when you have a team of trusted, competent advisors at your side.

Reporting Fraud

Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and other scams are all types of fraud Equity Trust Company wants our clients to be prepared to detect and avoid. It’s important to know where to turn if you are a victim. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and your local District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit are two groups that can help if these circumstances ever arise. Other resources for reporting scams and fraudulent investments include the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), FBI and many other organizations and government agencies.

Fraud Prevention Resources

Knowledge is the greatest tool for preventing fraud. We have compiled a list of additional resources to help you learn more about this topic.