NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A new year. A new life. For many Americans, financial stability is one of their top New Year’s resolutions. But Kevin Walters with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance says that’s exactly what crooks are hoping for. 

“20/20 is going to be an interesting year to say the least. And we know that the stock market is going relatively well. People are prosperous. People have more than they ever had before and scammers know that,” Walters said.

The North American Securities Administrators compiled a list of the top five areas of concern for investors the coming year.  

  • Promissory Notes 

  • Ponzi Schemes 

  • Real Estate-related investments 

  • Cryptocurrency-related investment products 

  • Social media/internet based investment schemes 

“The social media scammer is someone that approaches you. Someone that is overly familiar with you, and they want to approach you about a once in a lifetime investment. A no risk investment. An investment that’s going to payoff in ways that’ve never paid off before,” Walters said. 

Walters says the scammer typically offers a private investment, something that can go unregulated. 

“The investors that scammers go after typically are people who have retirement nest eggs. People who are older. People who might not have had a lot of experience dealing with scammers,” Walters said. 

Scammers are also going after another group. 

“Millennials are also susceptible to scams. Millennials who grew up in social media. They may think they aren’t going to be outsmarted. But unfortunately scammers are there to outsmart everyone cause they play on people’s greed, they play on people wanting to get a good deal. They capitalize on that. They feed on lies and they take your money,” Walters said. 

Before giving your money, do your due diligence. Research an investor if you believe they are taking you for a ride. If the person is trying to rush you into making an investment that’s also a red flag. Contact the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s security division. 

Remember if it sounds too good to be true, more than likely it is. 

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