Fraud is on the increase in North Carolina. It is very easy to be swayed or persuaded by scam artists to give or donate money to fraudulent causes or investment schemes. The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State is asking for assistance in notifying citizens of these scam artists.
Following is some information from the Secretary of State's Office to pass along to our citizens:
The Securities Division of the NC Department of the Secretary of State wants all North Carolinians to be SCAM FREE! Invest in your future, not a scam artist’s.
The Securities Division is responsible for administering and enforcing the state's securities laws. North Carolina investors may call the Division at (919) 733-3924, or toll-free at (800) 688-4507, to check the registration status or complaint history of any person who buys or sells investment securities or who, for a fee, provides investment advice about securities. Complaints about such persons can be sent to: Securities Division, NC Department of the Secretary of State, PO Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626-0266.
Be aware and very wary of these red flags:
1. Too good to be true – “must act now”, chance of a lifetime or other high-pressure tactics
2. High returns - Claims of minimal or no risk, or of guaranteed returns
3. “Inside information” - you must act on quickly before it becomes public
4. Critical of common investments such as CDs and savings accounts
5. An appeal aimed at your fears, insecurities or greed
6. Any offer of an opportunity that cannot be verified by your local securities regulator
Remember: All investments carry risk. Anyone promising little or no risk is lying! Also, be suspicious of deals involving any of the various forms of energy or trading in the foreign currencies market. Be careful not to let your investment decisions be swayed by emotion or by what members of your social or peer group are doing. Dismissing your concerns can be the primary cause of not catching red flags. Don’t let anxiety about asking “too many” or “dumb” questions, stop you from performing your own due diligence. It’s your money!
The successful investor will take time to research each offering as well as the promoter(s) of the offering. The Securities Division can help. Call the Securities Division before making any investment to verify that both the broker and the investment product are properly registered. Please visit www.sosnc.com for additional investor education information, including brochures you can download or have free copies mailed directly to you.
With these uncertain economic times, now more than ever investors are warned to “Check before you write one!” A quick call to the Securities Division at the above numbers could save your entire retirement fund from being stolen by a con artist.