You want financial security and the ability to leave a nest egg for your children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, with many investment offers, the only person who makes money is the person who’s selling them.
When someone approaches you about an annuity or other investment opportunity, think about the following tips before you say yes:
- Get it in writing. This allows you to look it over and review it with others before investing.
- Never make an immediate decision about investment offers or a change to your insurance policy. Consult with an independent professional, like a lawyer or an accountant, and read all forms completely.
- If you don’t understand what’s being sold, don’t buy it.
- Don’t provide any personal or financial information until you’re certain that the investment opportunity is legitimate and not a scam.
- The Secretary of State’s office regulates securities and the people who sell them. Before you commit, call their Investor Hotline at (800) 688-4507 to learn more about the seller. You may also want to check out the investment opportunity with the Better Business Bureau and our office. If you are considering an annuity, contact the Secretary of State’s office and the Department of Insurance.
- Don’t be pressured into making major decisions or purchases.
- When a loved one dies, don’t be pressured into making immediate major financial decisions or purchases.
- Beware of “act now” sales pitches. If a salesperson tells you to act now or never, or uses phrases like “limited offer”, “risk free”, “tax-free offshore investments” or “special opportunity, but you must keep it secret,” don’t buy anything from them.
- Some titles used by people who offer financial and investment advice are legitimate. But some are simply honorary, and others are just made up. Don’t fall for fancy titles like “certified senior specialist.” Before you consider taking someone’s investment advice, find out what their title actually means.
- Be skeptical of investment advice and opportunities offered by people on social networking websites and in unsolicited emails or phone calls.
- If you are ready to invest, do your homework. Research any firm or individual you are considering.
- If a sales pitch promises high returns with low risk, beware. Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
We Can Help
If you have a complaint about an investment, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
Watch our video Risky Business to learn about investments that can wipe out your savings, or financial instruments that make money for a slick salesman while making your funds hard to get your hands on.