affinity fraud

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Affinity Fraud

A type of fraud where a con artist targets members of a particular group. For example, a con artist may mail donation solicitations to political activists asking for money to pressure the government for a certain cause, when the donations, in fact, go to the con artist himself. Likewise, the con artist may convince members of a religious or ethnic group to donate to a made-up organization to protect the rights of the group. See also: Pyramid Scheme.

affinity fraud

Investment scams that target members of identifiable groups, including elderly, ethnic, professional, and religious groups. Perpetrators of affinity fraud are often either members of the targeted group or individuals who enlist the assistance of leaders in order to exploit the trust of members of the group. See also pyramid.

Affinity fraud.

Affinity fraud occurs when a dishonest person plays on your affiliation with a group -- such as a house of worship, social club, support group, charity, or veterans' group -- as a way to win your confidence in order to sell you something worthless or trick you into handing over cash.

The scammer may actually be a member of the group or may just pretend to be.

Affinity fraud is one the most difficult scams to protect yourself against because being suspicious of colleagues can undermine the reason you belong to a group.

References in periodicals archive ?
State securities regulators reported 59 formal enforcement actions involving affinity fraud in 2016.
Affinity fraud can not only be financially devastating to the victims, but often has the perverse effect of causing victims to lose trust in the group or affiliation that was previously a source of comfort or support.
This deceptive advertising should be sufficient for the international scammer to be able to make referrals and share fees with the local Florida attorney in a scheme based on affinity fraud.
To this end, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a new Investor Alert that zeroes in on preventing affinity fraud.
Despite the imprisonment of Southwick and other con men like him, much has remained the same Utah is still fertile soil for all sorts of white-collar crimes and, especially, for affinity fraud.
This case offers an example of the damage affinity fraud can cause," Galvin is quoted as saying in the release.
Affinity fraud causes the same economic harm as any financial fraud.
Among the latest are a $75 million affinity fraud targeting members of the Chinese-American community and a scam involving Edward T.
The colossal $50 billion Ponzi scheme engineered by Madoff has been characterized, in part, as an affinity fraud because he seems to have exploited his Jewish connections in New York City, Florida and other parts of the United States and abroad.
Affinity fraud: According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, affinity fraud is an investment scam that preys on members of groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, professional groups or the elderly, by exploiting the trust and friendships that exist within the group.