Voices of Reason

Beware of Affinity Fraud

While consumer fraud has continued to be among the more prevalent white-collar crimes of today, Utah has established itself among the leading states in the battle against this troublesome issue.

On this episode of the Voices of Reason podcast, Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee discuss the perils of affinity fraud with Keith Woodwell, director of the Utah Division of Securities and FBI supervisory special agent Mike Pickett.

Affinity fraud is where scammers target potential victims through a common bond such as friendship, ethnic or religious affiliation. Since 2010, over $2 billion has been lost by Utah investors to con artists using various scams, including insurance fraud, Internet fraud and Ponzi schemes, according to the state Division of Securities and the FBI.

Nationally, hundreds of million of dollars are lost each year due to consumer fraud. Victims often fall prey to scammers because they find themselves in economic stress and are looking “for a way out of their predicament.” On the other hand, some fraudsters are very clever and are able to gain an unwitting victim’s trust to take advantage of them, and other times it’s just outright fraud.

Woodwell and Pickett provide important tips and information than can prevent consumers from becoming victims.

Published: Monday May 15, 2017
Runtime: 00:23:54