Consumer Reports: Avoid being victimized by financial schemes and scams

The recent sentencing of Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford provided a useful, if costly, reminder of how today’s most successful scams often work. According to Consumer Reports Money Adviser, Stanford’s $7 billion swindle wasn’t based on baffling financial instruments, like credit default swaps or collateralized debt obligations, but on plain old certificates of deposit, although from an offshore bank. And the returns he promised on his bogus CDs were, while attractive, not so outrageous as to raise suspicions. Though Stanford’s 110-year sentence should keep him off the streets for a while, there are plenty more where he came from. Consumer Reports Money Adviser offers a few ideas on how to protect yourself: More in the Hartford Courant here.

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