Investment fraud schemes are taking a devastating toll on the life savings of Ohio investors. Unfortunately, this fraud often comes at the hands of a con artist masquerading as a trusted friend, neighbor or associate. An investment promoter can play on something they have in common with a potential investor—such as attending the same place of worship, being a member of the same race or ethnic group, or sharing common friends or hobbies. No matter who is promoting the investment, Ohioans should investigate before they invest. Investors can call the Division of Securities Investor Protection Hotline at 1-877-NVEST411 to ask if a seller is licensed and if the investment product is registered.
The Division of Securities encourages investors to:
- Avoid blind reliance on family and friend testimonials regarding a particular securities salesperson or investment, call the Division and perform your own research.
- Take the time to understand what you are purchasing, which means reading the relevant prospectus or offering circular and, if needed, consulting a licensed investment adviser.
- Be skeptical when promised unusually high or unrealistic returns—especially when other investments or financial products are not generating similar returns.
- Keep notes on conversations relating to your investment accounts and carefully review all mailed monthly or quarterly account statements as well as online account information.