State issues fraud warning to Native
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Utah: The Utah Division of Securities [UDS] is alerting all Native Americans who receive payouts from the Indian Trust Settlement: don't be a target for investment scams and other frauds.
A $3,400,000,000 settlement comes from the Elouise Cobell class action lawsuit against the federal government. The lawsuit claimed that the U.S. violated trust duties and benefits to individual Indians.
The money is "reparations, essentially, for treatment of Native Americans going back over 100 years," said UDS director Keith Woodwell.
The payout will be distributed among registered Native Americans. Woodwell worries that they will be targets of investment fraud. They target close knit groups because the groups trust each other and share information.
Scam artists may promise very high returns with little or no risk.
"Our fear is that as we've seen with other high-profile lump sum payments, (then) shortly after the con men follow the news and they seeĦ people getting large checks and (approach them with a) great investment opportunity to turn your $3,000 or $4,000 check into $10,000," Woodwell explained.
"They will try to use names of other tribe members who are investing to talk up the credibility of the program, and they leave a trail of tears behind. People just end up out of their money."
Qualified tribal members should expect to receive their payments later this year.
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