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Protecting Your Investments

Investment fraud comes in many different shapes and sizes. But even though a scammer’s pitch may change and evolve with the times, the red flags of fraud tend to be common across all different types of scams. Knowing what to watch for and how to report a scam can help protect not only yourself, but your family and community.

Here are some important questions to ask to help you determine if the offer is too good to be true when considering an investment:

Is the firm and the person you are dealing with registered or licensed? 

Most individuals and firms working in securities, mortgages, insurance, real estate, debt collection and lending, funeral services, and door-to-door sales must be registered or licenced with FCNB. In certain circumstances, an exemption may exist, but you should always check first.

Can you verify the offer with a credible source?

No. If you receive an unsolicited offer for products, services or an investment opportunity, get a second opinion from a trusted professional, or call FCNB for assistance. 

Is the risk you are taking reasonable for the expected return? 

There is no such thing as “risk-free” investments. Make sure you understand and can afford the amount of risk involved. 

Is the opportunity based on facts? 

If the deal is based on “hot tips” or “insider info,” watch out. 

Do you understand how the investment, product or service works? 

Never sign a contract or purchase an investment unless you fully understand what you are purchasing. Once you sign the contract, you have legal obligations. 

Have you had enough time to decide? 

Take your time making all financial decisions and never sign documents you have not read carefully.

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