Join Us this October for SmartCheck Month
The U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) is celebrating October as SmartCheck Month. During the month, we will share essential tips, feature real-life stories, and connect investors with events to help them realize and secure the financial future they see for themselves and their families. Join us and help investors access current information and resources to help them avoid fraud and make more researched decisions. Let them know that whether they're long-term savers or short-term traders, they should make their first step a background check by confirming their advisor, broker, or trading platform is registered with a government regulator or self-regulatory organization.
SmartCheck Month Events Calendar
Oct 2-8: World Investor Week
Oct 14: Join us for a Financial Planning Day, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, at the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago.
Oct 20: CFTC will run background checks at the Science Industry and Business Library in New York, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.
Oct 23: Check back to be one of the first to acquire new data from our national survey about financial fraud.
Oct 23: Stay in touch for a new Investment Fraud Conversation starter kit that will help investors broach this difficult topic with their loved ones.
Oct 28: Learn about fraud and investment strategies at the Metro DC Financial Planning Day, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM, at the University of Virginia's Northern Virginia Center.
Please also consider joining the effort by ordering free materials that show investors how to run a background check and provide tips for avoiding fraud. Order materials today. You can also join the movement year-round with any of the following elements:
Run Your Own SmartCheck Workshop
If you are interested in developing your own event to help investors learn more about the important topic of investment fraud, please consider using the resources below.
Discuss Who Is Commonly Targeted
Everyone believes it won't happen to them. They’re too smart or too careful to become victims of investment fraud. Still, each year, Americans who are smart and careful find themselves as victims of fraudsters. The typical profile of a fraud victim is a college educated, investment savvy, 50- to 60-year-old man. Fraud doesn't occur because a victim lacks competence or is greedy. It occurs because fraudsters are "professional" thieves who use logic and deceit to steal.
Feature the True Fraud Stories Video Series
Play the True Fraud Stories video series. The first video in the series features a retired Air Force officer who was taken in by an elaborate silver scam. The story also highlights fraud warning signs and tips for all investors. Watch the video and then have a discussion about the red flags or share experiences of participants.
Share the Five Red Flags
Share the red flags to watch for. Fraudsters may try to hook you with any kind of investment—from options to gold—but they tend to use the same ploys to get you hand over your money, including:
- Guarantee of no risk with high rates of return. Investors should consider whether the salesperson is dangling improbable returns or guarantees. It’s important to remember that all investments carry some risk.
- Limited time opportunities. Investors should be cautious any time they are pressured or rushed into making a decision about an investment opportunity. Is the offer described as being good for only a limited time or in a limited quantity? Most legitimate offers will be there tomorrow.
- Exclusive offers just for certain people. Are you being led to believe you are part of a special group being notified? When someone talks about people you know investing in the opportunity and that you shouldn’t be left out, it’s probably a good idea to keep your money in your wallet until you learn more.
- Special discounts or other “favors.” When the person on the other end of the trade offers to do a small favor for you, it may be a ploy to distract you from the business at hand. It’s best to stay focused on the opportunity, not to look for bargains.
- Namedropping. A con artist will try to build credibility by appearing successful, claiming affiliation with a reputable organization or touting a special credential or experience. Check out the seller’s actual qualifications at CFTC SmartCheck.
Run Background Checks
CFTC outlined an easy, three-step process here for completing background checks. Help investors run their own. It’s simple!
Why not start SmartCheck Month sooner and run checks today?
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