A fraudulent investment scheme that purports to deliver extraordinarily high returns on investment. High-yield investment schemes often advertise yields of more than 100% per year in order to lure in victims. In reality, these high-yield investment programs are Ponzi schemes, and the organizers aim to steal the money invested.
This scam is also known as the "prime bank scam".
The SEC advises that there are several warning signs that investors can use to help avoid being victimized by high-yield investment program scams. These include excessive guaranteed returns, fictitious financial instruments, extreme secrecy, claims that the investments are an exclusive opportunity, and inordinate complexity surrounding the investments.