Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Protect Yourself from Investment Fraud

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Verify The License Of The Person Selling The Investment

Individuals selling investments in Washington state need to be licensed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Verify the license by calling DFI’s Securities division at at 360-902-8760 or 1-877-RING DFI (1-877-746-4334).

Verify The Investment Is Registered

Most investment opportunities or products also need to be registered with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Verify the investment is registered by calling DFI’s Securities division at at 360-902-8760 or 1-877-RING DFI (1-877-746-4334).

Beware Of Promises Of High Rates Of Return And/Or Quick Profits

Con artists know what appeals to people. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. The higher the return, the higher the risk. There is no such thing as a no risk investment.

Be Suspicious Of High-Pressure Sales

Be suspicious of individuals who tell you that you must act now. This is a trick used by con artists to get you to part with your money. You should always have time to make an informed decision on a legitimate investment opportunity.

Beware Of Unsolicited Offers

Receive a call out of the blue offering an amazing investment opportunity? This could be a warning sign of a scam. Always treat unsolicited phone calls with skepticism.

Ask For Prospectus Or Offering Circular

If they tell you that a prospectus or offering circular isn't necessary, hang up or walk away. Even if it isn't necessary, never invest in something until you have written material about the company and the investment and have taken the time to check it out.

Talk To A Third Party Person

If you are interested in the investment, take the time to talk with a third party, disinterested person. Talk to your regular stockbroker, your attorney, your accountant, or any other reputable consultant.

Watch Out For Online Scams

Many scams are being promoted online now and via social media. Treat any investment opportunity you see advertised online with skepticism. Do your research.