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What is mass marketing fraud?

Mass marketing fraud involves any scheme that uses some form of mass communication, such as radio, television and mail, to acquire money in either one jurisdiction or several. In the modern digital age, this form of fraud has even extended into the realm of social media

In many cases, the fraudulent party informs the victims of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a ton of money. The party may even engage in high pressure sales tactics to get unsuspecting victims to act fast before this "opportunity" goes away. There are different types of mass marketing fraud present in the United States.

Investment opportunity scheme

This type of fraud most often takes place over the phone. It generally involves the caller informing the victim of a great business opportunity and by investing a little money now, the person could potentially earn a lot more in the months or years to come. Most of the time, this scam involves a Ponzi scheme where the investor does not actually invest the money into anything. Instead, the person pays back previous investors with the new influx of money.

Financial account and bank scheme

In the modern age, this type of scheme usually takes place over email. Someone will create an email account that looks like it is from a bank or another reputable provider. The scammer instructs the victim to provide bank account details, so now the scammer has access to the person's accounts. The scammer then siphons money from the account. Through email, phishing is the term used for this scheme.

Advance-fee fraud scheme

From sweepstakes to inheritance schemes, there are many ways for this type of fraud to manifest itself. Typically, the scammer promises the victim an opportunity to win something great, such as a million dollar payout, as long as the person sends a relatively small amount of money for the chance to win. 

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