This may sound obvious, but some schemes use the promise of large returns to persuade victims to send one fee after another, even when the victims suspect something is wrong. These fee frauds have increased significantly online in recent months. Typically, legitimate brokers will deduct fees and commissions from your account, and not demand more money to release your earnings or principal. U.S. brokers will never withhold or collect taxes.
Also, be on the lookout for recovery frauds. These frauds target recent victims and claim to be able to get the stolen money back if the victims first pay an upfront fee, “donation,” retainer, or back taxes. The perpetrators of these advance-fee frauds often pose as government officials, attorneys, or recovery companies. Learn more about the warning signs of recovery frauds.