The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today released its annual list of financial products that threaten to trap investors, identifying the most frequent sources of current complaints or industry investigations. While the 2020 catalog includes many long-standing threats, it also features emerging vehicles such cryptocurrency which the watchdog describes as one of the greatest risks to investors this year.

The five top threats that investors are likely to see in 2020 includes promissory notes, Ponzi schemes, real estate investments, cryptocurrency-related investments and social media/Internet-based investment schemes. Indeed in the last few years thousands of investors have been victims to fraudulent websites and so-called Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that have promised tangible returns or growth in exchange for investments.

One thing to always remember – “anyone who says their investment offer has no risk is lying. No one can guarantee an investment return,” said Christopher Gerold, NASAA president and chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities.