Top 10 Questions to Avoid Fraud

With any investment, whether recommended in person, by mail, telephone, or online, you should slow down, ask questions, and get written information. Take notes so you have a record of what you were told in case you have a dispute later. Here are the top questions to ask:

  1. Is the investment registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the state where I live?
  2. Is the person recommending this investment licensed with my state securities agency? Is there a record of any complaints about this person or the firm he or she works for?
  3. How does this investment match my investment objectives?
  4. Will the sales representative send me the latest reports that have been filed on this company?
  5. What are the costs to buy, hold, and sell this investment? How easily can I sell?
  6. Who is managing the investment? What experience do they have? Have they made money for investors before?
  7. What is the risk of losing the money that I invest?
  8. What return can I expect on my money, and when?
  9. How long has the company been in business? Is it making money? If so, how? What is their product or service? What other companies are in this business?
  10. How can I get more information about this investment, such as audited financial statements, annual and quarterly reports, a prospectus?

From the US Securities and Exchange Commission


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