Enterprise Fee Scheme: The most famous version is the “Nigerian Letter.” It’s an unsolicited request for modest financial assistance in exchange for a great deal of money. Another version targets investors who have lost money on an investment, offering to purchase or exchange shares and help the investor minimize their losses. Whatever the pitch, the central feature of the enterprise fee scam is to ask for an upfront payment to cover transaction costs, whether to “unlock” a larger sum of money or facilitate a transfer of shares. Either way, the fraudster keeps the fee, but doesn’t deliver what was promised. The investor loses.
How to spot the scam: Scammers are moving away from email and taking to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Watch out for overly promotional language about the “next big thing” or something “going to the top of the charts”. Don’t respond to direct messages about investments or stocks that come to you via social networks or text message. Resist the temptation to repost, retweet, or redistribute information about a stock that’s being heavily promoted on social networks or the internet. Remove companies or people from your social networks who aggressively promote investments.