Brought to you by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Investor.gov is your online resource to help you make sound investment decisions and avoid fraud. Please take a minute to view our video below to see how Investor.gov can help you.
Affinity fraud is an investment scam that preys upon members of identifiable groups, which can include social, ethnic, religious, political or professional associations. The problem with affinity fraud is that people may let their guards down when offered an investment opportunity by a fellow member of a church or social club or someone they know. The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, known as DISB, warns consumers about affinity fraud and encourages you to properly research any investment opportunity.
There are many good sources of information about investing. Visit our consumer education and resources page and scroll down to “Investments.” You can also request copies of the most popular brochures. Contact the department’s Office of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 727-8000. In addition, there is a great deal of information in the business section of the D.C. Public Library.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, known as FINRA, cautioned investors about potential scams related to marijuana stock. Medical marijuana is legal in the District and almost 20 states. As activity increases in this sector, so have investment scams. Pitches for marijuana stocks may arrive in a variety of ways –fax, email or text messages, webinars, infomercials, tweets or blog posts.
Investor Bill of Rights [PDF] :
“When You Invest, You Have the Right to…”‘
The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) has partnered with the District of Columbia Public Library, the American Library Association (ALA), the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine to provide a consumer education program targeting adults on the basics of investing at libraries throughout the District of Columbia.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) are jointly issuing this Investor Bulletin to help investors better understand the titles used by financial professionals. The requirements for obtaining and using these titles vary widely, from rigorous to nothing at all. To use certain titles, a financial professional may need to pass exams, meet ethical standards, have relevant work experience, and undertake continuing education. Other titles, however, may be obtained with little time, effort, and experience.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn individual investors about pyramid schemes, a type of investment scam that fraudsters often pitch as a legitimate business opportunity in the form of multi-level marketing programs.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and
Office of Credit Ratings are issuing this Investor Bulletin to
educate investors about credit ratings.
With energy demands and a desire for energy independence increasing globally, investments in traditional and alternative energy resources are being promoted more often and are becoming attractive to more investors. Some examples include: wind turbines, solar panels, biodiesel, ethanol, coal, oil, gas, hydrogen, wave, geothermal, oil sands, and liquefied natural gas. Many of these investments are highly risky and are usually not appropriate for all investors. It is not unusual for unscrupulous promoters to follow the headlines and take advantage of unsuspecting investors by engaging in fraudulent practices. Promoters sometimes prey on investors interested in socially responsible products by labeling them as “green energy” investment opportunities. The phrase “green energy” implies that the products are ecologically friendly when in fact the promoters may be operating a fraudulent shell company and not producing anything.