Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

NEWS

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Gloria Papiez, Director
(360) 902-8700   http://www.dfi.wa.gov

For Immediate Release

Contact Stanley Bernstein: 360-902-0517

DON’T PANIC, STATE SECURITIES REGULATORS WARN;

CON MEN MAY SEEK TO EXPLOIT FEARS OVER WAR, TERROR AT HOME

(Olympia: 03/18/03)—With the United States on the brink of war with Iraq and with heightened warnings of terrorism at home, investors should not make panicky financial decisions, said state securities regulators.

They also repeated warnings, issued in the wake of the September 11 attacks, to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty.

“Con artists always use the headlines as a way to get into investors’ wallets,” says Deborah Bortner, Securities Administrator for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division.

“Beware of high-pressure pitches for non-traditional investments such as strategic metals, foreign currency, oil and gas investments or tiny companies that supposedly have products or technology to combat chemical or biological terrorism,” she said.

Bortner pointed out that an unregistered offering might be an important red flag that can alert an investor to a potential problem. According to Bortner, “Investments must be registered with the State or have an exemption from registration. Persons offering securities must also be licensed with the State. Checking to seeing if a securities offering and that those selling it are registered is a good beginning of an investor’s inquiries to protect him or herself against potentially fraudulent offerings.”

Bortner urged investors to do the following:

 

To contact the Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, call 1-877-RING DFI (1-877-746-4334)

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