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Valley man loses $40K in online investment

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Ron Flory (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Ron Flory (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

After working his entire life, Ron Flory is finally retired and that leaves him plenty of time to do the things he enjoys,  like riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

"Well, everyone looks forward to retirement," Flory said as he started up his motorcycle to go for a ride.

But Flory is being forced to go back to work all because he says he was taken for $40,000 through an online investment opportunity that was emailed to him. According to Flory, attached to that email was a video presentation showing how anyone can make big bucks without any risk.

Right after he saw the online presentation, "I signed up, opened up an account and put $500 in it," Flory said. 

Flory said he was eager to grow his money.

Flory said when he eventually checked his account online, it appeared as though his $500 had swelled to more than $19,000 in a little over a week.

During this time, Flory said he was also talking to someone named "Tyler," who claimed to be his broker and that broker convinced Flory to invest even more money.

"He guaranteed me that I'd be a millionaire within a year and a half," Flory said.

So, Flory invested a lump sum of $40,000 of his retirement fund. He wired all that money, as he was told to do, to an account in Hong Kong. He still has a receipt of the wire transferred and showed us.

After he did, Flory says "Tyler" eventually stopped calling him and Flory said he's unable to log on to his account anymore.

As for his $40,000, it's gone.

"The criminals out there are extremely creative and convincing, so it requires people who are looking to invest their money to be vigilant," said Matt Boyden, an FBI agent in Phoenix. Boyden specializes in white-collar crimes, including online schemes.

He said consumers like Flory should always be skeptical if they're told their investment is "guaranteed" and the profit they will earn is exceptionally large. Remember, Flory said he was told he'd be a millionaire. 

"I think a lot of times, people just want to believe," Boyden said. "So, it's easier for the fraudsters to just string you along and tell you what you want to hear."

Flory said he's angry, disappointed and frustrated over losing $40,000.

"All of my family and friends said I was crazy for doing it, but it was a chance that I had to take," he said.

If you're a victim of an online investment or scheme, you need to report it to the FBI so agents can investigate it. You can easily do that by going to www.ic3.gov and filing a complaint. Doing so, the FBI says, will help agents collect information to reveal how big a particular scheme may be but, more importantly, it could expose who the perpetrators are and in some cases, get money returned.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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