Iowa Insurance Division Iowa State University Extension Investor Protection Trust

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How to stop investment fraud

Radio Transcript, 2 minutes 25 seconds, for use during week of April 7.

Description:  Susan and Craig Goettsch, director of investor education for the Iowa Insurance Division discuss reporting suspected investment fraud.

Announcer: Invest Wisely comes to you from Iowa State University Extension through a grant from the Investor Protection trust, providing investor education on the web at: investorprotection.org.

Susan: Craig, I have some questions about investment fraud.

Craig: Great, Susan.  What can I help you with?

Susan: We talked last time about the need to be skeptical of investment offers that sound too good to be true.

Craig: Anytime an investment offer seems too good to be true, for example, when someone talks to you about risk-free investments with unbelievable returns, you definitely need to be cautious.

Susan: Since we had that conversation, I’ve been talking to my mother and she tells me that she thinks she recently invested in something that might be a scam.  When she tries to contact the company, she can’t reach anyone.  Is there someone she can report her experience to so it doesn’t happen to anyone else?

Craig: If she thinks that she might have been the victim of fraud, she should contact the Iowa Insurance Division immediately.  She can either call our toll free number: 877-955-1212 or visit www.investsmartiowa.gov on the web.

Susan: I’d like to help her prepare before she calls.  What information will we need to provide?

Craig: First, you’ll want to have as much detail as you can--the name of the company she invested in, who her contact was, how much money she invested, the specific claims that were made--the more information she can provide, especially any written materials, the better.  You’ll also want to be prepared with her name, complete address and a daytime telephone number where she can be contacted. 

Susan: Can I make the complaint on her behalf?

Craig: Certainly.  If you choose to do so, you’ll need an acknowledgement letter from her giving you permission to look into the matter.

Susan: Thank you.  This is very helpful!  I’m going to sit down with my mother  today to help her fill out a complaint.

Craig:   Good for you, Susan.    And remember for more information about investing wisely, look for Invest Wisely at extension.iastate.edu.  And don’t forget to also check out www.investsmartiowa.gov.

 

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Updated April 4, 2008