For the next story, in case you’re not familiar with the following terms, here’s a quick cheat sheet:

Forex” is short for foreign exchange.

Mooches” are victims of investment scams.

Nowadays, a boiler-room scam doesn’t require a bunch of guys in a basement dialing for dollars. All it takes is a professional-looking website, heartfelt testimonials and some good search engine optimization. And instead of a hit list of mooches, all these new fraudsters have to do is wait for people to search for a simple keyword like “investment” and land on their site.

The Internet has allowed criminals to create elaborate fraudulent worlds in the cloud, making their victims 21st-century mooches.

David Evans, an investigative reporter for Bloomberg Markets Magazine, reveals a forex scam that leveraged faux transparency online to rake in a billion dollars from victims all over the world.

How to help: If you’re one of these victims who has invested in foreign currency trading, report it to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission at CFTC.gov or StopFraud.gov.

DIG DEEPER

Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.

Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.