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Shady Deals Arise Promising High Returns From Fake Pandemic Cures, Vaccines


Investment scams tied to the COVID-19 pandemic have regulators warning people to be shrewd and vigilant.

Fear, desperation, and uncertainty are easily exploited by scammers, and the current pandemic is especially ripe for schemes. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (ODFR) has teamed up with the North American Securities Administrators Association to investigate investment fraud during the outbreak.

ODFR spokesman Brad Hilliard says there are sure signs to be wary of when offered an investment opportunity.

“First off, if someone is offering you a miracle cure or a top-secret vaccine, something of that nature for you to invest in, it’s a scam.  That’s not out there right now. It’s a way to steal your money.”

Hilliard says claims of little or no risk, and high return are also red flags. He says it’s also important to check if the proposal is from a licensed and registered investment salesperson.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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