10 tips for avoiding investment fraud
Tip #1 - Check out the Person Offering Investment Deals:
Wisconsin law requires most securities and the people selling them to be registered by the state. Check them out with the division BEFORE YOU INVEST by calling (608) 266-2139.
Tip #2 - Beware of High-Pressure Tactics:
Say "no" to any person who pressures you to make an immediate investment decision. You need time to do your own research. Any ethical salesperson will understand this.
Tip #3 - Exercise Particular Caution if You Lack Financial Experience:
It's easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by complicated financial jargon. Ask lots of questions and insist that the salesperson explain the investment in everyday language until you understand it. Protect yourself by educating yourself.
Tip #4 - Keep in Mind that Good Manners Don't Indicate Personal Integrity:
Con artists are generally extremely polite, knowing that many of us equate courtesy with personal integrity. Swindlers are also counting on your good manners to keep you from cutting them off. Don't let your good manners land you in trouble; simply hang up if you don't like the conversation.
Tip #5 - Watch Out for Salespeople Who Prey on Your Fears:
It is common for swindlers to pitch their schemes as a way to eliminate your financial fears of the future. Remember: fear and greed can cloud your good judgment.
Tip #6 - Exercise Particular Caution if You Are an Older Citizen:
The elderly, and particularly older women, are a frequent target of scam artists. Always seek the advice of a neutral party before investing.
Tip #7 - Monitor Your Investments and Ask Tough Questions:
Insist on regular written reports and look for signs of excessive or unauthorized trading of your account. Constant vigilance is a vital part of being an investor. If you suspect that something is amiss and you get unsatisfactory explanations after submitting a written complaint to the firm, contact the division at DFISecurities@dfi.wisconsin.gov
or (608) 266-2139.
Tip #8 - Look Out for Trouble When Retrieving Your Principal or Cashing Out Profits:
If any person with whom you have invested stalls when you want to withdraw your money, you may have uncovered someone who is cheating you. If you are not investing in a fixed-term security, such as a bond, you should be able to receive your funds within a few days.
Tip #9 - Report Investment Fraud or Abuse Immediately, Despite any Embarrassment or Fear You May Feel:
If you suspect you have been victimized, call the division at (608) 266-2139. The sooner you report fraud, the better your chances of recovering some or all of your investment.
Tip #10 - Beware of "Reload" Scams:
Con artists often use investment losses to scare you into a second scam. To recoup their losses, victims sometimes invest in another scheme (a "reload") in which the con artist promises to make good the original loss - and may offer new, higher returns. Often, the result is only more losses.
Phone: (608) 266-2139