SEC Charges Adviser with Defrauding Investors via Social Media Sites

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Chicago-area investment adviser, Anthony Fields, with fraudulently promoting more than $500 billion in fictitious securities on several social media sites and issued two alerts and an investor bulletins regarding the risks investors and advisory firms face when using social media.


“Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes,” said Robert B. Kaplan, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “Social media is no exception, and today’s enforcement action reflects our determination to pursue fraudulent activity on new and evolving platforms.”

The SEC order against Fields alleges he made multiple fraudulent offers through his two sole proprietorships – Anthony Fields & Associates (AFA) and Platinum Securities Brokers. He provided false and misleading information to the public regarding assets under management, clients and operational history. Fields also did not maintain required records, failed to implement adequate compliance policies and procedures, and presented himself as a broker-dealer though not registered with the SEC as one.

The SEC has issued three new publications for both investment advisers and investors:

“Investment Adviser Use of Social Media” reviews concerns that may arise from use of social media by firms and their associates, and offers suggestions for complying with relevant federal securities laws.

“Social Media and Investing: Avoiding Fraud” aims to raise investor awareness of fraudulent investment schemes that use social media, and provides tips for checking the backgrounds of advisers and brokers.

“Social Media and Investing: Understanding Your Accounts” contains best practices including privacy settings, security tips, and password selection aimed to help social media users protect their personal information and avoid fraud.

For additional information on avoiding securities fraud, visit the SEC’s website for individual investors:



  1. John Gloster says:

    A very interesting article. If all these steps are followed correctly, I am sure we could be in a world free of fraudsters although it's hypothetical. Hoping for the best.

  2. Graeme Davidson says:

    Fraudsters are everywhere and so many people work so hard to stop them. Hopefully when new measures are brought in the people working on it will be able to do something about it. I have a friend who works in banking fraud and I know that it is a very hard job that only sometimes ends in a beneficial outcome for him (and us all!).

  3. peterfox2012 says:

    I think is a great idea investigating the social media. It should have a right study regarding on it.

  4. Candice Valerie Medina says:

    This is something the government should do to lessen or stop fraudsters. Great article very informative. More power!

  5. I believe that government must take strict action against this fraudsters so this type of fraud can be stop. Thanks for this wonderful article.

  6. thank u so much… this post is very useful for me and everybody…it's so interesting to invest social media..

  7. Thanks for the great read. This will definitely be of great interest to those looking to invest more into social media as it can somtimes be really productive. And also it will help build trust among the various groups involved.

  8. Xyza Kristina Billones says:

    Great piece of information you got there! Thank you for sharing this. This will surely bring awareness to people who are interested to invest in a virtual environment. Can't wait to read your next blog! All the best to you and to your team!

  9. Wow! This is really informative! Thanks for posting! We'll definitely used these essential points you raised. Keep up the great work and keep your posts coming. Wish you and your team only the best of 2012!

  10. Investor awareness.That's the key for keeping save investor money.

  11. Now that is how the fraud money floats. Agencies need to keep a close eye.

  12. It is unbelievable that social media can be used as such a powerful tool for fraud. Thanks for the info!

  13. peterfox2012 says:

    Most people have an endless deluge of spam, scams, fraud attempts or hoax messages in their emails every day and on the websites they visit on the internet. sad but its true.

  14. Hi Anthony! Fraudsters are also the one responsible with the current hacking of 45,000 facebook accounts in the US. These guys are always thrilled to get money from doing bad things. I hope that karma will catch them someday.

  15. Its a good example set by government. This type of Strict action will be help to stop this sort of fraud. This article helps investor to be more aware before invest their hard earn money.

  16. KarmaCRM says:

    This is very informative! A lot of people have been victimized by fraudsters. Not contented with the ordinary or usual phishing styles, they have ventured into more clever ways to gather whatever information they could use. Let us all beware!

  17. duilawyers says:

    Very informative blog! Thanks for sharing this information. Due to the situation detailed above, it made me aware for the possible presence of fraudsters even on social networking sites. I would agree that there are indeed a lot of people whose purpose is to deceive many just for their personal gain. I hope this blog could reach as many readers to share this worldwide.

  18. custom items says:

    Crime does not pay. He who lives by the FRAUD will die by the FRAUD. What goes around comes around, expect bad things to happen to scammers, it is their destiny to lose.

  19. buyidahorealestate says:

    Social Media adds a new world of possibilities for those involved in creating and executing scams. It will make the jobs of law enforcement officials that much more difficult.