DFI has received a complaint from a resident in Mexico. The investor received calls from fraudsters posing as “brokers” at a legitimate investment adviser firm, Long Term Investors, LLC.
The legitimate investment adviser firm, Long Term Investors, LLC is located in Wenatchee, Washington (CRD #169920). The fraudsters provided the investor the contact information listed below. Based on our investigation, the fraudsters are definitely not associated with the legitimate investment adviser firm, Long Term Investors, LLC:
1776 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 660-4057
The investor received a cold call from the fraudsters claiming they had clients who are interested in purchasing 10 weeks of a timeshare owned by the investor in Mexico. The fraudsters told the investor that after paying two fees, a $4,800 maintenance fee and a $2,600 commission fee, the investor would receive over $50,000 from the sale. After the investor paid the fees, the fraudsters demanded the investor pay additional fees such as a tax fee, insurance fee, and audit fee. After the investor paid fees that exceeded the $50,000 that was promised to the investor, the fraudsters later promised the investor they would receive over $245,000. The fraudsters contacted the investor numerous times demanding the investor pay various additional fees. After paying over $65,000 in fees, the investor never received the money the fraudsters promised. These allegations have not been verified by DFI.
This appears to have elements of a few different schemes, such as:
- Advance Fee Fraud
- Fraudsters Posing as Brokers or Investment Advisers
- Fraudsters targeting owners of timeshares in Mexico
DFI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services.
Investment professionals need to be licensed with DFI. In addition, most investment products sold need to be registered with DFI. To check the licensing status and to find out if there are any complaints against an investment professional or investment product, please visit FINRA Brokercheck or contact the Securities Division at (360) 902-8760. If you live outside of Washington State, contact your state securities regulator.
You can also visit the SEC PAUSE Program to view a list of entities that impersonate genuine U.S. registered securities firms. The list also includes entities that claim to be registered, licensed, and/or located in the United States and entities that are fictitious regulators, governmental agencies, or international organizations.
If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding an investment product or service, they may file a complaint with the Securities Division.