Affinity frauds are committed against identifiable groups such as the elderly or religious or ethnic communities. Affinity scams are often perpetrated by fraudsters who pretend to be members of the group. They might recruit respected members of the group to spread word about the scheme and convince them that it is worthwhile. These leaders may become victims of fraud that they promoted, often unknowingly.
These scams take advantage of the friendship and trust that exists within groups. Due to the close-knit nature of many groups, outsiders might not be aware of the affinity scam. Victims might prefer to resolve issues within the group than contact authorities or seek legal remedies.
Many times, Affinity scams involve Ponzi or Pyramid schemes. New investor money is used for paying previous investors to make it seem like the investment was legitimate and successful.