Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Gloria Papiez, Director
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
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:
- Beware of cold callers. High-pressure sales tactics and “once in a lifetime” opportunities are signals to hold onto your wallet.
- Read carefully any written material provided. Make sure that what you are hearing from the promoter is consistent with what you have read.
- Before investing, call the Securities Division
to determine if the investment and the promoter are properly licensed
and registered in the State of Washington. If they aren’t, don’t