Multi-Billion Dollar Securities Scam Surfacing On LinkedIn

As of November 3, 2011 more than 135 million professionals around the world utilize LinkedIn.com and more than 14 million students and recent college graduates around the world are LinkedIn members as of October 2011 (Source). Many internet users don’t recognized LinkedIn as a major social networking site because users don’t utilize the site daily to connect with friends and family members (similar to the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Google+). However, what many forget is that LinkedIn.com is the epitome of social networks because it does just that, it networks your social connections.

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LinkedIn is a website predominately used to showcase one’s skills, talents and professional experiences as it acts as an online resume for users. In this day and age many working, professional, career driven and/or job-searching persons use this site as a tool for past, present and future employment endeavors.

When one thinks of social media and social media networks it’s easy for LinkedIn to slip one’s mind because unless you’re actively searching for a job, chances are you’re not using the site daily. Personally, I only go on the site to update my resume, answer connection requests from others or if I get an e-mail that I’ve been contacted with a message.

In recent news, LinkedIn users should be on high alert of a new scam surfacing within the network of investors and investment opportunities. Apparently a possible multi-billion dollar investment scam has surfaced which should alert users to be terribly cautious before jumping on an online offer that may appear too good to be true.

Regulators are saying that the LinkedIn site has become a platform for promoting bogus investments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an enforcement actions on Wednesday against Anthony Fields, an Illinois-based investment adviser, whom has allegedly been making fraudulent offers in excess of $500 billion in false securities through various social media networks.

“Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes. Social media is no exception, and today’s enforcement action reflects our determination to pursue fraudulent activity on new and evolving platforms” says Robert Kaplain, co-head of the asset management unit of the SEC’s enforcement division – Source.

The SEC has claimed that Fields has used false and misleading information in SEC filings when he presented himself as a broker-dealer (even thought he wasn’t registered with the SEC) and failed to keep mandatory records.

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Apparently this case exemplifies the effort in Washington to crack down on fraudulent investment schemes as the SEC’s case against Fields is centered around his use of and on the website LinkedIn. Apparently he has posted fake “bank guarantees” and “medium-term notes” allegedly tied to J P Morgan Chase, UBS and other large banks – Source.