Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wine Scam - Don't Fall for It

Although this post isn't tech related, my blogging credo is "blog about technology and life". This one is for sure about life as no matter how hard we try to rid the world of scammers, there will always be some. I received this via email from the American Dental Association yesterday and I'm reposting it here in hopes that it will potentially help all my readers. BTW, if you are one of those people who wonder 'what does the ADA do for me?', this is just one example. There are lots of things going on in the background every day that the ADA helps with, but we frequently don't even hear about it.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating an investment program allegedly targeting American dentists and involving sales of interests in fine wines. The SEC has asked the ADA to forward to its members a request for assistance in the SEC's investigation of the program. Following is the message from the SEC:

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission requests your assistance with its ongoing investigation into an investment program targeting American dentists and involving sales of interests in fine wines. The SEC has information that an offshore company has been cold calling dentists to solicit these investments.

The company apparently describes the opportunity as more lucrative than investments in various stock indices and claims that the wine investment is guaranteed to grow in value as the underlying wine ages and becomes more rare. Dentists who express interest in the program are mailed promotional materials.

It then appears that, after making an initial investment, the company sends dentists a contract and invoice seeking payment of a much larger amount.

The contract and invoice describe the initial investment as merely a down payment and indicate that, if additional payment is not received, the investor will forfeit his original payment and lose the opportunity to complete the investment. If the investor makes the additional payment(s), he purportedly may instruct the company to sell his wine in the marketplace, which is how investors purportedly earn the high investment returns promised in the sales pitch.

If you have been solicited to invest in this program, the SEC asks that you contact its investigators, David Peavler ( or Jessica Magee ( Be aware that the SEC's investigation does not mean that anyone has violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of any particular investment, company, or person.

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