The Securities Division of the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office has released its priority list of financial products and practices that threaten to trap unwary investors, many by taking advantage of investors troubled by lingering economic uncertainty and volatile stock markets.
“An unfortunate trend we see is that con artists follow the news and seek ways to exploit the headlines to their advantage while leaving investors empty handed when all they were trying to do is make a little extra for their families in a down economy,” Secretary of State Charlie White said.
Indiana Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor says headline-related investor complaints reaching state and provincial securities regulators include questionable claims, such as: “Realize safety and appreciation in gold;” “Wave energy: the future to power our homes;” “Synthetic fuels take the oilman out of our pockets;” and “Invest in foreclosed homes, help others and make a fortune!”
Naylor said, “Promoters often offer investors an opportunity to get in on the ‘ground floor’ of new technology or ideas to help others and make a great economic return. Unsuspecting investors can be lured into these schemes, especially if they sound familiar. These offerings require careful research and a strong reminder that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These schemes are rarely profitable to anyone but the promoter.”
White urges investors to learn the warning signs of investment fraud and independently verify any investment opportunity as well as the background of the person and company offering the investment.
The Indiana Securities Division provides detailed background information about those who sell securities or give investment advice, as well as about the products being offered on their IndianaInvestmentWatch.com website.
“Investors should do business only with licensed brokers and investment advisers and should report any suspicion of investment fraud to us,” White said.
Additional information on how to protect yourself from investment fraud is available on the Secretary of State’s investor education website at www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com or by calling 1-800-223-8791.