Some new investors are learning the hard way about the myriad of bond scams out there. It is easier for scammers to sell fake bonds or misrepresent the performance of a bond to inexperienced investors. Many investors buy fake securities and don’t think about them again for years to come. How do you prevent scammers from taking you out for a walk? It starts with awareness, dealing only with reputable issuers and knowing the dangers. These are the most common bond scams circulating today.
1. Historic Bond / Railroad Bond Fraud
The United States Department of the Treasury describes Historic Bond Fraud. Historic bonds were valuable at one time, but they are no longer worth anything as securities. Bonuses are collected and traded. They include rail bonds issued by Canada, Saginaw, and Chicago Railroads, as well as a few others. There are approximately 15,000 different historical bonds in circulation. While they are interesting to collectors, the truth is that they have no financial value as securities. Scammers sell them on the grounds that they are worth their face value. Other fraudulent bonds that have emerged include old bonds issued by Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad Co, East Alabama, Cincinnati Railroad Co, Galveston, Houston & Henderson Railroad Co, York River Railroad Co, and Richmond Railroad Co.
2. Bond fraud
Scammers have also used the Noonday Mining Co. bond scam. Quatloos reports that these are historical bonds. The scammers convince their victims that the United States government pays these bonds in gold. They claim that there is a special sinking fund that is used to recoup the face value of Noonday Mining Co.’s historic bonds. This is a complete and total lie. They are not paid in gold or by any other method. Mining bonuses are worthless unless you want to keep them as collectibles.
Claims were made about the enforceability of the value of the historic bonds. There were quite a few collectors who were in possession of them. In addition, there were those who bought historic bonds, believing the lies they were told about the financial backing of the United States government and the value of the bonds at the time of purchase. The situation led to a judicial action that was heard in the Supreme Court with a weighing of the facts and a ruling after a careful examination of the situation. The courts ruled in 1996 that such bonds are not valid obligations. The scammers also claim that they are backed by the US Department of the Treasury.These bonds have never been backed by the Treasury, so this is another lie.
3. Historical bond trading programs
Another scam that is perpetuated with historical bonds is a high-yield investment trading program. Scammers claim that these programs are endorsed by the Federal Reserve Board, a Federal Reserve Bank, the United Nations, the World Bank, or the International Chamber of Commerce. These are all scams that have been invented to look like a legitimate investment opportunity. There is no such program. The IMF has been frequently named as a financial sponsor of this type of bond scheme and warns consumers to avoid becoming victims. Scammers who learned that there were smarter investors in the world who couldn’t be tricked into buying worthless historic bonds devised the bond trading program scam to make the investment look more legitimate. While some still fell in love with the old scam, others have learned the hard way that something that sounds too good to be true is probably a scam.
4. Limited Edition Treasury Bond Scams
Treasury Direct is warning consumers about limited edition Treasury Securities bond scams that they have recently investigated. This vile scam involves individuals and groups from foreign countries attempting to sell fictitious securities that they claim are backed by the United States Department of the Treasury. They incorporate the names of reputable banks and brokers / distributors to make them appear legitimate. The United States Department of the Treasury reports these scams for what they are. There are no special limited edition securities issued or endorsed by the US government, they are fully made up. But be careful. Scammers are cunning and obtain information about legitimate securities in their elaborate hoaxes. They use some of the language that is commonly associated with descriptions, so it’s easy to be fooled by their lies. Just deal with TreasuryDirect when shopping …