Protect Your IRA Funds and Your Reputation

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Equity Trust Company: Affinity fraud warnings from the SEC are good reminders for Self-Directed IRA Investors.

Self-directed IRA investors should be aware passive custodians are prohibited from offering any investment advice or direction.

In late 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Investor Education issued an Investor Alert and an Investor Bulletin on the dangers of affinity fraud. Equity Trust Company reminds investors these tips still apply today.

Affinity fraud is a type of investment fraud scheme that takes advantage of a group. The fraud perpetrator belongs to or pretends to belong to a group in order to gain acceptance and access to the group members. Military, church, ethnic, business or school affiliations are just a few types of groups targeted by con artists looking to commit affinity fraud. The con artist uses the close bonds and respectability within the group to get people into the scam. The victims may be pressured to ‘work things out’ within the group and that can make it difficult or inhibit seeking assistance from law enforcement.

Self-directed IRA investors should be aware passive custodians are prohibited from offering any investment advice or direction. This fact means clients must perform their own due diligence since the custodian is not permitted to do so. Self-directed IRAs represent a potential for a large amount of funds to be accessed under different regulations, making them tempting targets for fraud.

Equity Trust Company’s Scam and Fraud Knowledge Center provides clients with a starting point in protecting their IRAs. Affinity fraud is one type of fraud scheme discussed in the Knowledge Center.    

About Equity Trust Company
Equity Trust Company, with its corporate headquarters in Greater Cleveland, Ohio and operations in Waco, Texas and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it is at the forefront of the self-directed retirement plan industry. The Company specializes in the custody of alternative assets in self-directed IRAs, Coverdell Education Accounts, Health Savings Accounts and qualified business retirement plans. Along with its affiliates, Equity Trust Company provides services to more than 130,000 individuals and businesses nationwide with approximately $12 billion in assets under custody. Since 1974, the company and its affiliates have helped investors make tax-free profits through education, innovation, and a commitment to understanding individual needs. Visit for more information.

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Westley Stump
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