More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

Beware of Investment Fraud

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Remember all investments have some risk. You should never buy an investment that you are pressured to buy quickly.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you choose an investment.

  1. Does it sound too good to be true? (If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)
  2. Am I being pressured to buy? Do I have to buy today or it’ll be too late? (Don’t buy if you’re being pressured.)
  3. Is the investment a secret – too good to share with others? (If so, don’t buy.)
  4. Did I contact the company, or did they contact me?  (Be careful if they contact you.)
  5. Did the sales representative tell me the risk of losing my money? (All investments have risk. Be sure you know the investment risk.)
  6. How has the investment performed in the last few years? (You should know the investment’s past performance.)

To check on the person selling the investment, contact your state’s security commission. You can find your state’s security commission at QuickLinks/ ContactYourRegulator.cfm. In Illinois, call the Illinois Securities Department, toll-free 1-800-628-7937.