Affinity fraud is defined by the FBI as financial crimes based on bonds of trust. These crimes occur throughout the United States but are especially prevalent in Utah, where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints too often are victimized by savvy fraudsters who claim to be just like them.
Fraudsters claim to be like their victims, to be members of the same group, to conform to the same belief system, etc. The issue is so prevalent in Utah that in 2015 the state legislature passed a law establishing an online white-collar crime registry—similar to sex-offender registries—which publishes the names, photographs, and criminal details of individuals convicted of financial fraud crimes in the state going back a decade. Currently, there are 231 individuals listed on the registry.
Know your customer, know your vendor, know your fraudster – before you are defrauded. Do your diligence.