Investor Protection & Securities:: Investor Education:: Publications from the Securities Division:: Top Threats to Investors

Top Threats to Investors

Consumers lose billions of dollars every year to investment fraud. It touches all segments of society, every level of income, and every age. Investors are lured by the promise of high returns or huge tax savings with little or no risk. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it usually is. Far too many investors plunge into investments without first investigating them. The same scams are used over and over again on people who do not take the time to check out the offers or learn the danger signs.

The Securities Division is a division of the Office of Secretary of State. This office regulates investments sold in Missouri and the people who sell them - financial advisors and the companies they work for. If you would like to check the registration of the promoted investment, inquire about the registration status and possible disciplinary history of an investment professional, or if you need to file a complaint, contact the Secretary of States' Office, Securities Division's Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.

To help identify red flags for potential scams, here is a short list of the most common types of fraud:

  • Financial Exploitation of the Elderly or Vulnerable
  • Insufficient Knowledge of People Wanting your Money
  • Insufficient Knowledge of the Product or Services Being Offered and the Risks
  • Investment Fraud
  • Unregistered People Offering Securities or Unregistered Securities
  • Binary Options
  • Affinity Fraud
  • "Free" Seminars
  • High Pressure Sales Tactics