Publications

The CFTC continually strives to provide effective information and tools to help consumers avoid fraud. Below are some helpful resources on these topics. Bulk orders of certain publications are available free to organizations. If you have questions about any of these resources, please contact consumers@cftc.gov. These publications should not be resold.

Brochures

The CFTC’s Role in American Agriculture

By fostering fair, well-functioning markets, the CFTC plays a critical role in ensuring prices reflect actual supply and demand forces in the U.S. agricultural economy. [PDF]

Commodity Futures Trading Commission - Overview

The mission of the CFTC is to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation. [PDF]

Bitcoin Basics

Learn basic information about Bitcoin, the CFTC’s jurisdiction, and how virtual currencies can be a target for fraud and for hackers. If you’re new to Bitcoin, this guide provides an introduction and points you to more information about Bitcoin and its risks. [PDF]

An Introduction to Virtual Currency

A quick guide to virtual currencies that covers how they can be purchased, why they are considered commodities, and what types of fraud can be found in the market. Use this guide to explore the world of virtual currencies and learn about potential risks. [PDF]

The Risks of Buying Gold, Silver and Platinum

Trading in precious metals such as gold, silver, or palladium can be a legitimate way to diversify your portfolio, but the market is volatile and also has its share of fraud. Beware of dealers’ lofty promises of easy profits or doomsday threats of a faltering economy.  [PDF]

Advisories

Customer Advisory: Beware of Gold and Silver Schemes Designed to Drain Your Retirement Savings

Some unregistered gold and silver dealers are advising investors to use relaxed retirement plan distribution rules in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to buy precious metals. But customers should talk to qualified retirement, tax, or legal advisors first. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Learn About Risks Before Investing in Commodity ETPs or Funds

Trading vehicles that use futures contracts or other commodity interests may be organized as exchange-traded products or mutual funds, but that does not necessarily mean they will behave like traditional exchange-traded funds or mutual funds that invest in stocks, bonds or other asset classes. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Beware of Fee Scams Targeting Workers Sidelined by COVID-19

Unregistered brokers selling binary options, foreign exchange (forex) programs, and cryptocurrencies are targeting people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The scams promise unrealistically high profits, but later force victims to pay excessive “fees” and “taxes” to get their supposed earnings. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Be on Alert for Frauds Seeking to Profit from Market Volatility Related to COVID-19

Fraudsters commonly use major news events, such as the spread of COVID-19, to add credibility to their cons or manipulate emotions. You can better protect yourself by learning to recognize common mental biases that everyone has, as well as common fraud tactics—and by taking a few preventative steps. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Use Caution When Buying Digital Coins or Tokens

The market for digital coins and tokens is still very young and there is no widely-accepted standard for placing a value on a particular coin or token. You need to ask about your rights, research what could affect the future value of a digital coin or token, and exercise caution. [PDF]