Credit cards and investments are a risky combination, according to a new investor alert from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Advisors should be aware that the agency is urging investors to look for red flags of fraud before paying for investments with credit cards or wire transfers, according to the alert.

“Most licensed/registered investment firms do not allow customers to invest using credit cards,” the SEC said.

SEC investigators have uncovered a growing number of new scams where unlicensed individuals calling themselves advisors or brokers use various tricks to get investors to send them credit card information and even urge investors to use or open up a another credit card in order to make increase “investments” and avoid detection.

In one enforcement case the SEC brought earlier this year, the regulator charged owners and operators of several boiler-room call centers for defrauding investors out of tens of millions of dollars.

The call centers’ employees allegedly required investors to submit photos of their credit cards, drivers’ licenses, and a utility bill, the SEC’s complaint alleged.

The so-called “brokers” and “financial advisors” actually used “Know Your Customer Rules” to justify requiring the documents. The SEC alleged that scam artists actually wanted these documents to dispute any allegations of unauthorized credit card charges that arose.

“Fraudsters may also try to get you to apply for additional credit so they can make more money off of you,” the agency warned.

“They may also suggest splitting your investment between more than one credit card to avoid a large charge from being flagged as suspicious by credit card companies. Finally, remember that there is no such thing as guaranteed high returns in a short period of time – this is a classic sign of fraud,” the SEC said.

The agency warned investors that “if you are still considering paying for an investment by credit card be wary if you are:

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