3 Easy Steps to Protect Yourself From Investment Scams

By Monica Bradford

When looking to invest your hard earned dollars, take the time to do your homework. Anyone can be a victim of investment fraud. Before considering an investment, ask questions, do your research, and reach out to your local investment firms and advisers.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation, specializes in Investment Fraud and has a plethora of valuable information to help you sort through your next investment decision. FINRA, along with BBB, recommend three key strategies to help distinguish good offers from bad ones:

End the conversation. Practice saying “No.”  Simply tell the person, “I am sorry, I am not interested. Thank you.” Or tell anyone who pressures you, “I never make investing decisions without first consulting my___. I will contact you if I am still interested.” Fill in the blank with whom ever you choose- your spouse, child, investment professional, attorney or accountant. Knowing your exit strategy in advance makes it easier to leave the conversation, even if the pressure starts rising.

Turn the tables and ask questions. A legitimate investment professional must be properly licensed, and his or her firm must be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulator- depending on the type of business the firm conducts.

Talk to someone first. Be extremely skeptical if the person promoting the deal says, “Don’t tell anyone else about this special deal!” A legitimate investment professional won’t ask you to keep secrets.

Exercising these three key strategies will go a long way when protecting yourself from fraudsters. Remember, the more knowledgeable you are when making investments, the less likely you are to become a victim. When making an investment there’s no urgency to race against the clock – take your time and make an informed decision.

For more information on protecting yourself from investment fraud, visitwww.saveandinvest.org.

DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visitwww.bbb.org/us for more information.