State Investors Warned of Common Scams

5 years 11 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, June 20 2012 Jun 20, 2012 Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:47:00 PM CDT June 20, 2012 in News
By: Scott Malone
loading

COLUMBIA - The Missouri Secretary of State's office is warning investors to look out for several common scams and threats to their money. The Securities Division of the Secretary of State's office released its list of the top threats to Missouri investors for this year.

The Secretary of State's office has returned more than $10 billion to investors from fraudulent investments dating back to 2004. The office releases the warnings each year, and has audited 155 different cases in the last 32 months.

The report said the best defenses against investment scams are knowing what to look for, being skeptical about online sales pitches, and checking in on any companies you're skeptical about before investing in them.

The division said in the report that online pitches are increasing in number thanks to the growth of online social networking, which acts as a vehicle for scam artists. Online investment opportunities offered by start-up companies with little to no history may enclose very few details.

Unlicensed salesmen are also sources of potential scams. According to the report, salesmen licensed only to sell life insurance sometimes will also pitch investment opportunities. That practice is illegal in Missouri, as giving advice about buying or selling stocks, mutual funds or other securities requires a specific license.

The division's report said promoters pushing a new business idea without sufficient documentation is another red flag. The report recommends investors ask for financial statements, a thorough business plan, owner background and other traditional documents about a startup business.

The report admits that new business investments are inherently risky, but all promises of returns, guarantees and collateral should be thoroughly investigated; especially if the return sounds too good to be true.

Those pie in the sky promises often appear as guarantees of gold, oil or gas futures, and other commodities. The report urges investors to keep in mind that no investments are guaranteed, and all markets fluctuate.

The report also warns that some brokers are advising investors to drop out of traditional investments, and invest with a broker offering a special deal or "limited time opportunity." The division said it has recently seen these special deals turn out to be Ponzi schemes; even when those brokers work for an otherwise credible company.

For investors looking to help keep their money, the division has three recommendations. If considering a new investment or broker, a call to the Investor Protection Hotline (1-800-721-7996) can help you check up on the credibility of the broker or investment opportunity.

The report also tells investors to get complete documents explaining all the costs, fees and charges involved in the investment beforehand. If real estate is involved, make sure to ask for proof of ownership.

The final recommendation is for you to understand your goals when investing. That understanding includes knowing when you will need to access your money, how much risk in an investment you can handle, and what taxes or fees you will have to pay.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Crews recently broke ground on a new hog farm in Callaway County, and locals have strong opinions... More >>
27 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 600 members of the United Methodist Church have issued a formal church complaint against Attorney... More >>
32 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Radio Television Digital News Association has named KOMU.com best website in a small market for the second... More >>
45 minutes ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:48:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge says there are a few key legal questions to be answered before he... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Juneteenth brings communities together to honor the official ending of slavery in the U.S. One group in Jefferson... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:17:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran are suing to block the appointment of... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:10:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Trump administration policy to force separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:58:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday began Summer Safety Week and local programs are helping those in danger of not being able to... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:54:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic political action committee is targeting Republican Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley for not... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:22:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Former Gov. Eric Greitens' attorneys will meet with lawyers Tuesday to discuss his use of the Confide... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new "Space Force" as... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 7:08:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri democrats want Governor Mike Parson fire his chief operating officer and cancel a contract awarded to... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri air conditioning companies are facing the busiest time of year amid a four-day heat advisory. Craig... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The attorney representing the security guard who shot Anthony Warren at a Waffle House on New Year's Day... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 600 block of Monroe Street will be closed until Friday. Construction crews are removing a retaining... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A death, a huge cache of weapons and a suspect whose gun jammed as he was aiming... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:17:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe to be the new lieutenant... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport may reach new heights after the city council accepted a bid and authorized a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 12:42:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 94°
4pm 89°
5pm 87°
6pm 81°
7pm 82°