Once Bitten Twice Shy

We have finally reached a point where undermining technology’s significance in our lives is nothing short of futile. It might have taken its time to get to such an important level, but technology got eventually there, and more importantly, it got there on merit. In a world of shortcuts and inroads, technology placed all its bets on innovation and uniqueness, and that’s exactly what spelled its success. These days we might be getting tech-centric tools in spades, but technology’s focus on adding a sense of value to our lives remains the same. We, in return, are paying it back by embracing technology across the board. Such sizeable yet fair considerations on each end have helped in building a strong and sustainable relationship between us and this incredible piece of creation. Furthermore, it would be completely accurate to say that this relationship has only grown into something more meaningful lately, as the world continues to feel the after-effects of a global pandemic. It was certainly devastating to the core, but in all honesty, Covid 19 taught us a lot of things. The situation didn’t just test the resilience of our healthcare system, but it also tested our strength as individuals. We were forced to fight an unknown enemy, and many lost their loved ones in this bloodbath. However, even though the world was dealing with an unprecedented tragedy, there were certain people out there who used the moment of vulnerability for their own benefit. The number of scams jumped up beyond belief and authorities were left scrambling for a solution. At a risk of sounding overly pessimistic, SEC has warned everyone that a similar solution could be around the corner again.

Hurricane Ida is ravaging U.S., and taught well by what happened last year, Securities and Exchange Commission is proactively warning the investors to not fall for scams disguised as Hurricane Ida recovery efforts. The commission’s branch of Investor Education and Advocacy explicitly asked people to remain cautious around social media platforms and unsolicited emails, because the convenience of these channel directly translates to easy targeting.

In its plea for more vigilance, SEC also brought up the example of “pump and dump” scams that became rampant during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. These scams had resulted in losses going deep into millions, and they were only stopped by a series of stringent enforcement actions. To avoid a déjà vu scenario, SEC went on to outline how these scam attempts can look:

“These scams can take many forms, including promoters touting companies purportedly involved in clean-up and repair efforts, trading programs that falsely guarantee high returns, and classic Ponzi schemes where new investors’ money is used to pay money promised to earlier investors,” SEC said in a statement.

If numbers are to be believed, then investment scams during the last year alone cost victims a combined total of $336 million.

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