National Consumer Protection Week: Beware of Online Investment Scams

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                                                                                        NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Annelise Grygiel


Denver - March 5, 2024 - In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that U.S. consumers lost a staggering $4.6 billion to investment scams, a 21% increase over 2022. A significant amount of fraud happened online, with $1.4 billion lost on social media platforms alone.

These online scams are swindling individuals of all ages out of their hard-earned money. According to the FTC, people in their 20s are losing money to fraud at a higher rate than those in their 70s. With National Consumer Protection Week in full swing, the Colorado Division of Securities wants to help all consumers protect their investments by avoiding online scams. The most common schemes include:

Cryptocurrency investment scams: Often, these scams start with a direct message on social media or dating apps. Fraudsters will talk about how much they’ve profited from cryptocurrency and sway others to invest through a fake website or app. They’ll share fabricated statements to make it look like investments are growing, leading consumers to invest more. When scammers receive the money, they'll shut down the accounts and disappear, leaving victims with nothing.  Here is a recent Colorado case: Complaint Against Eli Regalado and INDXcoin Amended to Include 12 Additional Defendants

Romance scams: Scammers slowly build intimate relationships with individuals on dating apps and social media before asking for money, a practice called “pig butchering.” They’ll boast about their financial success to entice their love interest to invest. Sometimes, they will make up elaborate stories about how they need the money to unlock more money. At the end of the scam, there is just loss and heartache. Here is a recent Colorado case: Complaint Filed Against Denver Man for Orchestrating Romance Scheme

Real estate scams: Fraudsters use social media and websites to advertise phony world-class property developments. These properties look like golden investment opportunities online, which persuade consumers to invest. Once scammers receive the money, investors run into problems with the property. The property might take years to build or won't include the promised amenities. Other times, the property isn't even built, and the land is leased. Here is a recent Colorado case: Lifestyle complaint

Before committing to an online investment opportunity, read the Colorado Division of Securities Smart Investor Checklist. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is! For additional information about safe investing, visit the Division’s Protect Your Investments microsite or check out our main website.

If you or someone you know has become the victim of investment fraud, report it to the Division at 303-894-2320 or

About DORA and the Division of Securities

DORA is the state's umbrella regulatory agency, charged with managing licensing and registration for multiple professions and businesses, implementing balanced regulation for Colorado industries, and protecting consumers. Our nearly 600 employees are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and promoting a fair and competitive business environment throughout Colorado.

The Division of Securities exists to protect investors and maintain confidence in the securities market, while avoiding unreasonable burdens on the marketplace by licensing securities professionals, enforcing securities law violations, and helping Coloradans become more informed investors. Visit to learn more.