PRESS RELEASE
Oklahoma Department of Securities warns of opportunistic investment scams following attacks on World Trade Center, Pentagon
 
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 18, 2001 
 
Contact: Irving L. Faught, Administrator
  Oklahoma Department of Securities
  405-280-7700
 
 
Oklahoma City/////  In the wake of terrorist attacks in New York and near Washington, DC, the Oklahoma Department of Securities warned investors to be on the lookout for opportunistic scams similar to those associated with the Year 2000 computer bug.

Cold-calling telephone salespeople, advertisements, or Internet postings that tout commodities, exotic financial products, or supposed anti-terrorist technologies should be a red flag for investors. Investors should be especially wary of enticements to send their money offshore to so-called “safe havens.”

“In times of tragedy, confusion, fear and uncertainty, there are always those who will attempt to prey on the investing public,” said Irving Faught, Department Administrator. “In the wake of last week’s tragedies, investors should resist the temptation to make hasty decisions about their investments or finances. Our economy is the most diverse and productive in the world, and the United States is and will remain the world’s financial capital.”

Recalling that many con artists exploited fears associated with the Year 2000 computer bug to tout investments in precious metals, emergency preparedness scams and non-existent technology companies, Faught urged investors to:

Do not give personal information to strangers over the phone such as brokerage account numbers, social securities numbers or online IDs or passwords;
Hang up on aggressive cold callers promoting “safe” investments such as precious metals, oil, or gas and ignore unsolicited e-mail or Internet chat room talk about small companies with new anti-terrorist technologies or products;
Check the Department of Securities’ web site to check that the sellers are registered. If they are not, they may be operating illegally;
Request written information that fully explains the investment, such as a prospectus or offering circular. The documentation should contain enough clear and accurate information to allow you or your financial adviser to evaluate and verify the particulars of the investment; and
Use common sense. Some things really are too good to be true. Get a professional, third-party opinion when presented with investment opportunities that seem to offer unusually high returns in comparison to other investment options. Pie-in-the-sky promises often signal investment fraud.
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Oklahoma Department of Securities 
 
This press release, and related information, is available on the Securities Commission's web site at securities.ok.gov, by phone at (405) 280-7700, or in writing at:  Oklahoma Securities Commission, 204 North Robinson, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.