Episode 73: Securities Fraud


According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost $10 billion to fraud in 2023 alone. In that same year, Americans were defrauded $4.6 billion via investment scams.

In this episode of Privacy Files, we talk to Val Harkless, a government contractor who assists with fraud and analysis for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Enforcement. She works tirelessly to uncover a variety of crimes, including insider trading, pump and dumps, Ponzi schemes, unregistered soliciting entities, and cryptocurrency investment fraud.

Val provides insight into how she investigates potential fraud cases, including going back to her time working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In all, Val is an extremely seasoned fraud investigator who has seen more than her fair share of scams. It’s an enlightening discussion about the many dangers people face daily.

It’s also a reminder of why it’s important to stay vigilant when protecting your personal information and financial assets.

And if you’re wondering what Val does to unwind from the realities of a stressful job…she sings and plays guitar! You can check out her music here:


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