Affinity fraud occurs every day at places of worship, in tight-knit ethnic or immigrant communities, at country clubs, in professional organizations, in online forums, and anywhere that people gather around a shared belief, interest, or goal.

That shared interest – the reason a group gathers in whatever form it does – creates camaraderie and trust among the members. Fraudsters join these groups and use the trust they build to convince members to invest in investment schemes or phony business projects to line their own pockets, leaving investors broke.

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