Utah U.S. Attorney Discusses Affinity Fraud
John Huber, U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, describes how affinity fraud takes advantage of established "relationships of trust."
In Utah, we have unique dynamics, as any community would, whether that’s religious communities on the Eastern seaboard in Boston or elsewhere or ethnic communities. We form relationships of trust and when someone starts speaking like we speak or they act like we act, there’s almost an instant trust that is extended to them.
And, so, in Utah we see this affinity fraud—people who exploit their relationships with others to take advantage of them. We see that in Utah. And in Utah it may be because of the predominant religion that allows people to have an instant trust extended to them that then they take advantage of and exploit. That’s a challenge, and so with Stop Fraud Initiative, together we hope to educate the public and educate investors on recognizing the signs. There are red flags out there. And sometimes investors ignore them hoping for the best or trusting that smile on the fraudster’s face.
Sometimes it’s too good to be true. And we need to take those flags for what they are and run the other way when people approach us and our gift of fear kicks in.
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