JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of State Jason Kander issued an Investor Alert today advising Missourians to be wary of investment schemes promising unusual or excessive returns.
"Remember, if it sounds too good to be be true, it probably is," Kander said, "If an investment offers a very high profit and claims risk, there is a good chance it is a fraudulent scheme, a riskier investment, or an investment that will be difficult to sell if it doesn't work out."
Those attempting to sell these investments offer high, unsustainable rates of return- more than one percent per day and as high as 100 percent per day- through vague trading strategies.
Kander provided the following signs for detecting an investment as fraud:
1)High, Unsustainable Yields: Many High-Yield Investment scams purport to offer excessively high rates of return, often in a short time frame. Corporate bonds with an A rating offer an average yield of 2.89% and 4.17% over 10- and 20-year time frames.
2)Off-shore accounts: Avoid any investment offering that requires you to deposit or wire money to a foreign-based account.
3)Recruiting Incentives: Avoid investment schemes with promises of higher returns or the prospect of a "referral bonus".
4)Unclear Methods: Avoid making any investment that cannot provide concrete information about the company, dealer, product, service, or how the investment will be used. Further, you should always ask for a prospectus.
5)Typos and Grammatical Mistakes: When researching an investment opportunity, be wary of documents, website and e-mail copy with excessive typos or poor grammar.
Kander urges you to call the investor hotline to make sure the person making the offer is registered in Missouri before you invest.