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to Protect Against Investment Fraud:
The front line of defense against investment fraud is you, the individual investor. An unscrupulous con man or fast-talking "financial adviser" in a few minutes can swindle an unsuspecting investor out of a nest egg that took a lifetime to build. Unlike muggers and thieves, investment fraud artists don't take your money against your will; they persuade you to hand it over willingly. Don't fall for their tricks. Follow these tips to protect yourself and your family from fraud. Remember that "an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure."
Beware of Strangers Asking for Money
trust a stranger who calls and asks for your money.
Free Financial Advice May Be Worth Less Than You Pay For It
not feel indebted to someone who gives you "unsolicited' financial
advice. This person may be trying to gain your trust so he can make fees
and commissions by investing your money, sometimes in unstable investments.
Keep Personal Information Personal
give out personal financial information like credit card or bank account
numbers or balances over the telephone unless you are absolutely certain
that the caller is legitimate.
Take Your Time - Don't Be Rushed Into Investment Decisions
has shown that sales persons who use high-pressure tactics to force an
investor into an immediate decision are almost always pitching frauds
- they don't want you to think too carefully or find out too much because
you may figure out the scam.
Don't Throw Good Money After Bad
Beware of "reload" scams. Con artists know the panic people feel after a sudden financial loss. They know that it's the best time to promise to recover the original funds in another "sure thing" scheme. Don't fall for the same (or a similar) scheme twice.
Check Out Your Broker or Adviser
you are absolutely sure that the person is legitimate, confirm that your
broker or financial adviser is registered and in good standing.
Keep Tabs On Your Investments
wary when a financial planner says "leave everything to me."
Don't Be Afraid to Complain
your broker or adviser stalls or hesitates when you want all or part of
the principal of, or profits from, your investments, ask the reason for
the holdup. You may have uncovered a questionable practice.
We're here to help!
Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372