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

How to Select a Futures Broker or Advisor

This worksheet offers steps you can take and interview questions to consider during your search for a new broker or advisor. Plus, warning signs to watch out for. [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]

Foreign Currency Trading Fraud

The Forex market is volatile and carries substantial risks. It is not the place to put any money that you cannot afford to lose, such as retirement funds, as you can lose most or all of it very quickly. [PDF]

Advisories

Investor Alert: Watch Out for Fraudulent Digital Asset and “Crypto” Trading Websites

The CFTC and SEC have recently observed investment scams where fraudsters pose as “ctryptocurrency” advisory trading businesses touting proprietary trading systems or mining farms. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Risks of Virtual Currency Trading

Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Learn more about the risks associated with this digital asset. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Beware of “IRS Approved” Virtual Currency IRAs

Be cautious of sales pitches touting “IRS approved” or “IRA approved” virtual currency retirement accounts. Virtual currency prices sometimes experience wild price swings. This volatility is not reduced or limited just because the virtual currencies are held in an IRA. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Beware Virtual Currency Pump-and-Dump Schemes

Pump-and-dump schemes occur in the largely unregulated cash market for virtual currencies and digital tokens, and typically on platforms that offer a wide array of coin pairings for traders to buy and sell. Learn the warning signs and how these schemes operate. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: There’s Nothing to Like about Scammers on Social Media

Use extra caution when considering trading advice, products or services touted on social media. It’s easy for fraudsters to create a profile that hides their true identity, or use multiple profiles to promote their schemes. Find out what to look for, and how to avoid getting lured into their frauds. [PDF]