The Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) released its annual list of top investor threats and reminded investors to use caution when approached with any unsolicited investment opportunities. An investment is an asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or will appreciate in the future. “The top threats to investors were determined by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association to identify the most frequently identified source of current investor complaints or investigations.” The following were determined to be the most prevalent: promissory notes, real estate investments, ponzi/pyramid schemes, oil & gas investments, affinity fraud, variable annuity sales practices, prime bank schemes, and advance fee loan schemes and non-existent credit documents.
BBB urges consumers to think carefully before investing. Does it make sense? Investigate and understand your rights and responsibilities as an investor before committing to any investor.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) offers the following tips on how to avoid investment fraud:
- Never believe anyone who says there is no risk; there are always risks in any investment.
- Be wary of claims of extravagant earnings potential.
- Get all the details in writing.
- Avoid offshore investments. They tend to be very risky at best, and difficult to investigate or prosecute if there is a problem.
- Before investing, check out brokers and dealers with FINRA’s BrokerCheck and your state or provincial securities regulator.
- Also check out www.bbb.org to see if your broker or dealer has a history of complaints from customers.
- Diversify your investments. Never put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to investing.
Source: Alabama Securities Commission and FINRA
To read the full press release, visit Alabama Securities Commission Announces Top Investor Threats