Investor Protection and Fraud Alerts
Click on the following website links to learn more about investor protection and how to avoid fraud:
Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.
The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam.
Scams and Unsuitable Investments
Certain types of investments—even if they are legitimate—should always raise red flags. If an investment seems exotic, promises large returns with minimal risk, or claims to be a “can’t miss,” consider just saying “No!”
These investments are particularly tempting when yields on normally safer products, such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts, are low. This prompts investors to seek higher returns or alternative sources of income.
While some investments are outright frauds, others, like those described below, may be legitimate but highly inappropriate for many investors.
Your net worth might make you a target for scams. Scam artists don't care how you have come across your money. They don't care whether you worked hard all your life to earn your money, or whether you hit the lottery the first time you played. It is your money they want. The only thing that may stand between a fraudster and your money is your preparedness when you are approached.
Protect Your Money
Investor protection is an integral part of FINRA's mission. Investor Alerts and other resources can help build knowledge and avoid problems such as the latest frauds, which all too often are perpetrated by people outside FINRA's jurisdiction.
Insurance and Annuity Related Matters:
Avoid Becoming a Victim When Buying Insurance
- Never pay premiums in cash
- Confirm that the agent or company is licensed in Texas
- Beware of unsolicited offers or offers to upgrade your current policy or annuity
- Beware of unreasonably low premiums
- Beware of investments that seem too good to be true
- Make sure you receive your policy within 60 days
- Protect your insurance policy numbers
Financial Literacy - Free and Online
Financial literacy is the ability to understand and properly apply financial management and personal finance life skills. Effective financial planning, properly managing debt, understanding interest, and understanding the time value of money are characteristics of being financially literate.
Why is financial literacy important? Financial literacy is important because it equips us with the knowledge and skills we need to manage money effectively. Without it, our financial decisions and the actions we take—or don't take—lack a solid foundation for success.
Resources Available for You:
Brought to you by the SEC’s (Securities and Exchange Commission) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Investor.gov is your online resource to help you make sound investment decisions and avoid fraud. The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) is dedicated to serving the needs of individual investors.
About MyMoney.gov - This website is a product of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which is made up of more than 20 Federal entities that are coordinating and collaborating to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans. The Commission was established by the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act, Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-159).
About the Investor Protection Trust - The Investor Protection Trust (IPT) is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. The primary mission of IPT is to provide independent, objective information needed by consumers to make informed investment decisions.
Founded in 1993 as part of a multi-state settlement to resolve charges of misconduct, the Investor Protection Trust serves as an independent source of non-commercial investor education. Since 1993 the IPT has worked with the States and at the national level to provide the independent, objective investor education needed by all Americans to make informed investment decisions.
National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) Programs
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) provides financial education and practical information to people at all financial stages. NEFE believes that regardless of background or income level more financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and ensure a more stable future for themselves and their families. NEFE does not receive funding from any bank or investment firm. You can trust our unbiased resources.
Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals.
CashCourse is a free online financial education resource designed specifically for college and university students. The program takes a whole-life approach to personal finance, with resources divided into six main areas of learning.