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CFTC Warns Public to Beware of Katrina-Related Trading Scams

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last Tuesday warned the public to beware of claims that damage caused by Hurricane Katrina will bolster the profitability of trading in crude oil, unleaded gasoline, heating oil, natural gas or other commodity futures or options.

"The public should be advised that -- whatever effect these events might have on the price of physical commodities -- the occurrence of such well-known events do not necessarily increase the likelihood of making profits in commodity futures or options trades that are based on these energy products or limit the risk in such trades," the CFTC said. Any claims to the contrary "are probably fraudulent."

The CFTC's Division of Enforcement is on the lookout for Katrina-related commodities scams and will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to take advantage of the tragedy to defraud the public, the agency said. Investors who believe they may have been the target of such schemes should notify the CFTC at enforcement@cftc.gov.

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