Be Cautious As You Invest
Does it sound too good to be true? It’s essential to ask yourself this question when a “can’t fail” investment opportunity comes your way. In today’s sluggish economy it is tempting to grab at an offer to make up the losses in your retirement nest egg. Unfortunately there are people looking to make a quick buck and will offer you an opportunity that can take a bite out your savings. Each year Oregonians lose millions of dollars to investment, or securities, fraud– by con artists using high-pressure tactics and promising “get-rich-quick” schemes.
As a potential investor, you may be solicited through telephone calls, mailings, emails and references from friends or family. If a enticing offer comes your way, be cautious and get the necessary information to make an informed decision. Your first step? Check out the person offering the investment by contacting the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Its Division of Finance and Corporate Securities – the state’s securities, or investments – regulator – can tell you if the firm or salesperson is licensed to sell investments in Oregon and if the investment is registered for sale in Oregon.
Whether the opportunity comes from a broker, investment adviser or insurance agent, the Division can provide important licensing information including possible disciplinary action.
In addition, check a person’s professional credentials. In Oregon, those who sell financial and insurance products are prohibited from marketing themselves by claiming they are a “specialist,” “adviser,” or similar title when they have no substantive credentials based on legitimate professional training. Senior citizens are vulnerable to this type of deceptive marketing as many are looking for ways to invest and may targeted by those claiming to have specialized expertise.
You should also be wary of the following pitches:
- The promise of a rate of return that is better than what similar investments are paying.
- A guarantee that the investment won’t fail.
- Insistence that the opportunity to invest exists today only – tomorrow will be too late.
- Pressure to write a check immediately or for a bank account number “to make it easier.”
Even with the current economic downturn, there are still many opportunities that hold great promise of financial return. The key is look at each one objectively, ask a lot of questions and check and verify the salesperson and the investment.
Article Provided by:
The Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities
www.dfcs.oregon.gov or www.protectyourmoneyoregon.org