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Social Media and Investment Fraud – Investor Alert – SEC.gov

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Fraudsters often use social media to scam investors.  The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy encourages you to be skeptical and never make investment decisions based solely on information from social media platforms or apps.

Investors increasingly rely on social media for information about investing.  While social media can provide many benefits to investors, it also creates opportunities for fraudsters.  Social media allows fraudsters to contact many people quickly, cheaply, and without much effort – and it is easy for fraudsters to post information on social media that looks real and credible. 

Fraudsters may disseminate false information anonymously or while pretending to be someone else.  They may make up credentials, create entirely fake profiles, or impersonate legitimate sources.  It can be difficult to track down who is behind a social media account, and anonymity can make it harder for fraudsters to be held accountable.  

Testimonials and Celebrity Endorsements.  Do not be swayed by testimonials or celebrity endorsements when making an investment decision.  Fraudsters sometimes pay people – for example, actors to pose as ordinary people turned millionaires, social media influencers, and celebrities – to tout an investment on social media.

Investment information found in social media also may be inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading.  Social media may convey false impressions of consensus or legitimacy, making it look like large numbers of people are buying an investment when this is not the case.  Fraudsters may use social media to lure investors into a variety of schemes, including impersonation schemes, “crypto” investment scams, romance scams, market manipulation schemes, and community-based investment fraud.  Here are a few scams you should be aware of:

Impersonation Schemes

Fraudsters may impersonate legitimate brokers or investment advisers or other sources of market information on social media.  For example, fraudsters may set up an account name, profile, or handle designed to mimic a particular individual or firm.  They may go so far as to create a webpage that uses the real firm’s logo, links to the firm’s actual website, or references the name of an actual person who works for the firm.  Fraudsters also may direct investors to an imposter website by posting comments in the social media account of brokers, investment advisers, or other sources of market information.

When you receive investment information through social media, verify the identity of the underlying source.  Look for slight variations or typos in the sender’s account name, profile, email address, screen name, or handle, or other signs that the sender may be an imposter.  When contacting a company or attempting to access its website, be sure to use contact information or the website address provided by the company itself, such as in the company’s SEC filings.  Similarly, only contact a broker or investment adviser using contact information you verify independently – for example, by using a phone number or website listed in the firm’s Client Relationship Summary (Form CRS).  Carefully type the website’s url into the address bar of your web browser.

Some social media operators have systems that may help you to determine whether a sender is genuine.  For example, Twitter verifies accounts for authenticity by posting a blue verified badge (a solid blue circle containing a white checkmark) on Twitter profiles.  While a verified account does not guarantee that the source is genuine, readers should be more skeptical of information from accounts that are not verified.

Fraudsters may even impersonate SEC staff on social media.  Like many companies and agencies, the SEC maintains a list of verified social media accounts, which is available at www.sec.gov/opa/socialmedia.

Fraudsters have also found victims by hacking into social media profiles and sending fraudulent investment opportunities to the hacked person’s contacts.  Be wary if someone – even someone you trust – sends a social media message recommending an investment, and be sure to check with them “off-line” to make sure that person actually sent the message.

“Crypto” Investment Scams

Fraudsters may exploit investors’ fear of missing out to lure investors on social media into “crypto” investment scams.  “Crypto” assets are marketed using a variety of terms, including digital assets, cryptocurrencies, coins, and tokens. 

How do you know if an investment involving “crypto” assets is a scam?  As with any other type of investment product, if a crypto investment “opportunity” sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Promises of high investment returns, with little or no risk, are classic warning signs of fraud.  Fraudsters may post fabricated historical returns on their websites showing high investment returns.  Depictions of investment accounts rapidly increasing in value and providing large returns are often fake.  

If you are considering a “crypto” asset-related investment, take the time to understand how the investment works and look for warning signs that it may be a scam.  Carefully review all materials and ask questions.  Check out the background (including license and registration status) of anyone offering you an investment in securities using the search tool on Investor.gov.

Learn more about investments involving “crypto” assets on Investor.gov.

Romance Scams

Romance scams through apps or websites have become increasingly pervasive as fraudsters take advantage of anonymity to mask their deceptive intentions.  The fraudster may be located in another country and communication may be exclusively through messaging due to language barriers.  Do not invest money based on advice from someone you have solely met online or through an app.  Do not share any information relating to your personal finances or identity including your bank or brokerage account information, tax forms, credit card, social security number, passport, driver’s license, birthdate, or utility bills. 

The FBI issued a Public Service Announcement about fraudsters using romance scams to persuade victims to send money allegedly to invest or trade cryptocurrency.  How these scams typically work is the fraudster establishes an online relationship with the victim through a dating app or other social media site.  The fraudster gains the victim’s confidence and trust, and then claims to know about lucrative cryptocurrency investment or trading opportunities. The fraudster directs the victim to a fraudulent website or app.  After the victim invests and sees a purported profit, the website or app allows the victim to withdraw a small amount of money, further gaining the victim’s trust.  The fraudster then instructs the victim to invest larger amounts of money and conveys a sense of urgency.  When the victim tries to withdraw funds again, the victim is instructed to pay additional funds, claiming that taxes or fees need to be paid or a minimum account balance must be met. When the victim can no longer pay the additional funds, the fraudster stops communicating with the victim and the victim cannot get the money back.

Other agencies and organizations also have issued warnings about romance scams, including:

Be careful if someone claims to offer you an investment opportunity that is exclusive or based on “inside” or confidential information.  Do not take comfort because someone encourages you to make an investment through what appears to be a third party website or app.  The fraudster may be behind the website or app, and it may be a scam.  Also, be wary of any “opportunity” that requires you to use “crypto” assets (for example, Bitcoin or BTC) to purchase an investment.

If you encounter any issues withdrawing your money from an investment, do not put in more money to try to get your money out, and submit a complaint to the SEC If you believe you have been the victim of an Internet crime, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3.

Do not be pressured to act quickly.  Take your time to research an investment thoroughly before handing over your money.

Market Manipulation Schemes

Fraudsters can manipulate the share price of a company’s stock (either positively or negatively) by spreading rumors on social media. Fraudsters then profit at investors’ expense.  Fraudulent stock promotions on social media can take various forms, including memes.

Fraudsters may promote a stock on social media anonymously or while pretending to be someone else.  Fraudsters can set up new accounts specifically designed to carry out their scam while concealing their true identities.  Be skeptical of information from social media accounts that lack a history of prior postings or that contain minimal original content.

Fraudsters may use social media to conduct schemes including: 

  • Pump and dump schemes – pumping up the share price of a company’s stock by making false and misleading statements to create a buying frenzy, and then selling shares at the pumped up price. 
  • Scalping – recommending a stock to drive up the share price and then selling shares of the stock at inflated prices to generate profits.
  • Touting – promoting a stock without properly disclosing compensation received for promoting the stock. 

In other instances, fraudsters start negative rumors urging investors to sell their shares so that the share price plummets and then the fraudsters buy shares at the artificially low price.

Exercise extreme caution if there appears to be greater promotion of the company’s stock than of the company’s products or services.  Be skeptical regarding new posts on your wall, tweets, direct messages, emails, or other communications you did not ask for that promote a particular stock (even if the sender appears connected to someone you know). 

Community-Based Investment Fraud

Fraudsters often use social media to perpetuate community-based investment fraud (aka affinity fraud), which targets members of groups with common ties, including based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, military service, and age.  These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist within groups. 

Many communities use social media as a way to stay connected and share information.  Fraudsters, who may be (or pretend to be) part of the group they are trying to cheat, may solicit potential victims on social media through posts or direct contact.  Fraudsters also may enlist group leaders, who then spread the word about the scheme on social media.  Those leaders may not realize the “investment” is actually a fraud, which means they too may be victims.

Know who you are dealing with and know what is being offered – even if you have something in common with the person.  Type the person’s name into the search tool on Investor.gov to do a background check.  Confirm that the person is currently registered or licensed, and find out if that person has any disciplinary history.  

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Check the background of anyone selling or offering you an investment and confirm that the person is currently registered or licensed.  It only takes a few minutes using the free and simple search tool on Investor.gov.  

Before making any investment, research the company thoroughly.  Make sure you understand its business and carefully review publicly disclosed company information

Never feel pressured to buy an investment right away.  It can be tempting to jump on the band wagon and follow whatever the crowd seems to be doing on social media.  Sometimes, however, following the crowd may lead you to fall victim to an investment scam. 

Additional Resources

SEC Charges Siblings in $124 Million Crypto Fraud Operation that included Misleading Roadshows, YouTube Videos

SEC Charges Social Media Stock Promoter with Penny Stock Fraud

SEC Obtains Asset Freeze and Other Relief in Halting Penny Stock Scheme on Twitter

Protect Your Social Media Accounts

Investor Alert: Thinking About Investing in the Latest Hot Stock? Understand the Significant Risks of Short-Term Trading Based on Social Media

Investor Bulletin: Social Sentiment Investing Tools —Think Twice Before Trading Based on Social Media

Social Isolation and the Risk of Investment Fraud

Report possible securities fraud to the SEC online at www.sec.gov/tcr.

Protect your hard earned money – learn more tips on investing wisely and avoiding fraud at Investor.gov.

Call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) at 1-800-732-0330, ask a question using this online form, or email OIEA at Help@SEC.gov.  Receive Investor Alerts and Bulletins by email or RSS feed.

Follow OIEA on Twitter @SEC_Investor_Ed. Like OIEA on Facebook at facebook.com/secinvestoreducation.

This Investor Alert represents the views of the staff of the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. It is not a rule, regulation, or statement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”). The Commission has neither approved nor disapproved its content. This Investor Alert, like all staff statements, has no legal force or effect: it does not alter or amend applicable law, and it creates no new or additional obligations for any person.

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Communications and Social Media Specialist – Quill & Quire

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Orca Book Publishers


Published: September 23, 2022

Date Posted

Description

Orca Book Publishers is a successful, growing, independent Canadian children’s book publisher. With over 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 90 new titles/year, we have a vibrant, well-respected publishing program. We are looking for a professional, motivated person to join our marketing team. The ideal candidate will bring a passion for books, strong organizational skills and a willingness to work with an amazing team. Our preference is for someone who can work in in our office in Victoria, BC, although we will consider an applicant from outside of Victoria.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Overview: Promote Orca titles, authors and brand online through a cohesive and organized presence across newsletters, social media platforms and blog. Create and manage campaigns collaboratively with the marketing and sales teams, including writing online and print copy for a variety of audiences.

  • Manage a comprehensive newsletter schedule with multiple content creators and audiences, such as authors, booksellers, teachers, librarians and wholesalers.
  • Write and lay out newsletter content in collaboration with the marketing and sales teams. Deploy and track newsletters according to the schedule.
  • Create and schedule for Orca’s social media accounts, including maintaining a calendar of all posts and ongoing campaigns.
  • Monitor social media channels to engage with the public and respond to questions. Support our authors’ social media presences and promote their events.
  • Seek out ways to optimize our online engagement via creative content, targeted ads and industry partnerships. Administer a monthly social media advertising budget. Build and maintain a list of influencer contacts.
  • Provide regular reporting and analysis on social media and newsletter campaigns.
  • Work with the design team to create assets for newsletters, social media and other marketing promotional materials.
  • Craft and revise press releases, pitches, letters, taglines and other marketing copy as needed, including working on metadata and book cover copy.
  • Maintain a list of media contacts and disseminate press releases.
  • Oversee the Orca blog: create content, write posts, interview authors and promote on social media.
  • Produce and edit promotional video content: author interviews, book trailers and other videos as needed. Manage Orca’s YouTube channel.
  • Attend and assist in the execution of local Orca events.

Qualifications:

  • Background and education in Writing, Communications, English, Journalism, Marketing and/or Publishing. Publicity experience is an asset.
  • Exceptional writing skills; ability to modify writing tone to the audience. Copyediting and proofreading skills are an asset.
  • Expert knowledge of contemporary social media, especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Ability to understand the different audiences for each. Experience with social media advertising is a plus.
  • Highly efficient and organized; proven leadership and project-tracking skills along with the ability to multi-task and prioritize work across many projects at once.
  • Keen interest in the Canadian children’s book publishing industry.
  • Ability to work independently, with excellent time-management skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to collaborate with a team and contribute to a supportive environment.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Google Drive and other general office software.
  • Experience with project management software like Asana, social media management software like Hootsuite, or email programs like Constant Contact or MailChimp is an asset.
  • Understanding of basic design principles with an eye for beautiful, effective and eye-catching design. Ability to create visual content for social media using software like Canva is an asset.
  • Enjoy working with people and other animals in an office environment.

Orca Book Publishers is an inclusive employer with a passion for books that matter. We are strongly committed to diversity within our community and especially welcome applicants who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

We are also committed to ensuring that young readers see themselves reflected in the books they read. We aim to produce books that illuminate the experiences of people of all ethnicities, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQ+. We have a particular interest in publishing books that celebrate the lives of Indigenous people. Our fiction includes characters from diverse backgrounds and unique family structures, and our global nonfiction celebrates the variety of ways people live and educates readers about important issues. Providing young people with exposure to diversity and the opportunity for social change through reading creates a more compassionate world. We encourage applicants to learn more about us at www.orcabook.com.

We strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible. If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact jobs@orcabook.com. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package.

Please send resume and cover letter by October 7, 2022, to jobs@orcabook.com. We thank all who apply; only those candidates who are shortlisted will be contacted.

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Which team may surprise people in the NCHC, key takeaways from media day, key conference players to watch – The Rink Live

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Now that the dust has settled from NCHC Media Day, The Rink Live takes an in depth look at the conference with its podcast with reporters Matt Wellens, Brad Schlossman, Jess Myers, Mick Hatten and Joe Paisley. Wellens covers Minnesota Duluth hockey, Schlossman covers the University of North Dakota, Paisley covers Colorado College and Myers interviewed two representatives from every NCHC team at media day. The group covered a variety of topics including their big takeaways from media day, which team may surprise some people in the conference race, key players throughout the league and more on this episode of The Rink Live podcast.

[embedded content]

2022 NCHC Media Day

Scenes from the 2022 NCHC Media Day on Sept. 22, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN

Jim Rosvold / The Rink Live

TIME STAMPS

Biggest takeaways from Media Day:
2:30 Mick Hatten: The big turnover in personnel within the league

3:40 Brad Schlossman: Key items in commissioner Heather Weems’ address to the media

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5:00 Matt Wellens: Key items in commissioner Heather Weems’ address to the media, how the conference looked at other online streaming platforms

7:10 Jess Myers: How financially sound the conference is and why, Brad on how the NCHC absorbed the pandemic

10:10 Joe Paisley: The benefits of being a single-sport league, one year of operating budget in the bank

Biggest impact players on the team you cover:
12:15 Brad Schlossman: North Dakota’s Riese Gaber

13:35 Joe Paisley: Colorado College’s Kaidan Mbereko, Brett Chorske, Gleb Veremyev, Cade Ahrenholz and Hunter McKown

15:24 Mick Hatten: SCSU’s top line of Jami Krannila, Zach Okabe and Veeti Miettinen, D Jack Peart

17:25 Matt Wellens: UMD’s Blake Biondi, Dominic James, Derek Daschke

20:15 Miami’s good power play in a tough season in 2021-22

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22:25 Jess Myers transfers: North Dakota goalie Drew DeRidder, Denver forward Tristan Broz

24:10 Mick Hatten: Western Michigan F Jack Perbix

25:15 Brad Schlossman: Omaha’s Tyler Weiss, Joaquim Lemay, Jacob Guevin; Western Michigan’s Carter Berger, Zak Galambos

Brad Schlossman Memorial Question: Who will be this season’s NCHC surprise team?
28:00 Why St. Cloud State is a team to watch

35:50 Why Colorado College is a team to watch

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3 Burning questions for Milwaukee Bucks media day – Behind the Buck Pass

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Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora

MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 21 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

It has been reported by Marc Stein that the Milwaukee Bucks will hold their media day this Sunday, one day after the Milwaukee Bucks are allowed to begin training camp to begin their preparations for their games in Abu Dhabi against the Atlanta Hawks. Sunday may be the day we get a formal introduction of DeMarre Carroll to the coaching staff.

We have some questions that we hope can be answered by Jon Horst, Mike Budenholzer and potentially the players involved about the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season.

Burning questions for Milwaukee Bucks media day: What is the plan with Jordan Nwora?

We looked at this situation recently and it is very confusing wondering why there hasn’t been any action on this front. Why hasn’t there been a report on whether or not Jordan Nwora will accept his qualifying offer, an offer that was extended to him months ago?

This will certainly be a question that can only be answered by General Manager Jon Horst or by Jordan Nwora himself. However, with October 1st being just over a week away and that being the deadline (unless the Bucks file for an extension) for the qualifying offer the Milwaukee Bucks extended to Nwora to expire, we should expect answers soon.

The Milwaukee Bucks have been active in making calls on players potentially available for trade, having been confirmed to have checked in on Kevin Durant and Jordan Clarkson. While neither of those players have been traded, having a $2 million salary available to add to a deal could certainly help balance out salaries. Asking Jon Horst about the Bucks being active in any ongoing trade talks could also certainly be another burning question for Sunday.

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