Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Contact

Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731, lyn.peters@dfi.wa.gov

Bill Beatty, DFI Securities Administrator
PH (360) 902-8723, bbeatty@dfi.wa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


DFI Identifies Top Traps Investors Should Watch For, Offers Resources To Help Investors Identify Scams And Avoid Fraud

OLYMPIA – The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today released its annual list of traps that investors should avoid when seeking to jump-start their investment portfolios as the impact of the financial crisis and increased market volatility continue to reverberate along Main Street.

Securities Administrator Bill Beatty said investors rebuilding nest eggs damaged by the market collapse as well as those frustrated with low interest rates are particularly susceptible to speculative investments that most often turn a promise for profit into thin air.

“Knowledge, attention to detail and a healthy sense of skepticism are a triple threat to fight investment fraud,” Beatty said. “State securities regulators provide detailed background information about those who sell securities or give investment advice, as well as about the products being offered. The more prepared you are, the better your chance of avoiding a trap that can leave you in a financial hole for many years.”

Beatty identified the top products and practices that investors in Washington should watch out for in the coming year:

Products

Practices

Beatty cautioned investors to familiarize themselves with the warning signs of investment fraud and independently verify any investment opportunity as well as the background of the person and company offering the investment.

“Investors should do business with licensed brokers and advisers and should report any suspicion of investment fraud to us,” Beatty said. “One call can protect your financial security and might prevent others from becoming victims.”

DFI Director Scott Jarvis agrees, and offers some advice.

“Investors can never let down their guard,” Jarvis explained. “There will always be someone out there more than happy to separate investors from their money. One way Washington investors can stay on top of who’s out to get their money and scams to watch for is to sign up for DFI’s regular scam alerts.”

Sign up today for regular scam alerts from the Washington DFI at http://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/alerts.htm. Additional investor protection & fraud prevention information is available online at DFI’s site http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/topscams.htm, the North American Securities Administrators (NASAA) site http://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/ and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sites http://www.finra.org/Investors/index.htm and www.saveandinvest.org.


About Division of Securities
www.dfi.wa.gov/sd ▪ 360.902.8760 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334)
The Division of Securities regulates securities investments, franchises, business opportunities, and off-exchange commodities sold in Washington and the firms and individuals that sell these products or provide investment advice. The Division handles complaints, conducts investigations, and takes appropriate enforcement actions to protect investors and combat fraud.

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902.8700 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334)
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information:
www.twitter.com/FinEd4Allwww.twitter.com/DFIConsumersfinlit.blogspot.comwww.youtube.com/user/WADFIwww.homeownership.wa.gov

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