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Variations on a traditional Ponzi scheme

Whenever news breaks of a developing Ponzi scheme, it becomes a topic of conversation in many Georgia households. Some people may be under the misunderstanding that this illegal activity is limited to situations where money is invested for unnaturally high returns. However, potential investors should be aware that Ponzi schemes are a type of fraudulent activity that can take on many different forms.

According to Forbes, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission has been cracking down on a certain kind of Ponzi schemes that are promising safe gains. If the purported investment is offering “safe and secure” returns, people may not realize that this might be a scheme designed to bilk them of money. And as a result, they might not be as conscientious with their pre-investment research.

Other times, Ponzi schemes take on unusual types of “investments.” The New York Times reported that one recent Ponzi scheme even tried to capitalize on the high demand for tickets to the successful Broadway musical “Hamilton.” Two men raised $81 million from 125 investors after these investors believed that their capital was being used to buy large blocks of tickets to the show which would then be resold at a large profit. Because the type of investment was not a financial product, but rather theater tickets, it may not have raised red flags to those who thought it sounded like a good way to make money.

Investors must be careful to realize that if something sounds too good to be true, it often is. This is especially true when a large return on an investment is expected to happen quickly. 

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