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Criminals are defrauding investors in rising numbers as they try to exploit chaos unleashed by the Covid pandemic, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday.

Investors should be on high alert for Ponzi schemes, fake certificates of deposit, bogus stock promotions and community-based financial scams, the SEC warned in an investor alert.

“The SEC has recently experienced a significant uptick in tips, complaints and referrals involving investment scams,” the federal agency said.

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Fraudsters use times of uncertainty and change, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, to lure victims into investment scams,” it continued.

The extent of the increase in fraud documented by the SEC is unclear. A spokesperson for the agency did…

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