Give OFIR a Call Before You Invest
• A vast majority of stock brokers, investment advisers and financial planners are honest and reputable. Bust just like many other professions, there are those individuals and firms who are not.
• Before investors give anyone their hard earned money, give the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) a call on our toll-free consumer hotline 877-999-6442.
• OFIR will run a check on any individual, company or product and make sure they are operating under Michigan law.
• OFIR works closely with the AARP on fraud prevention presentations where participants learn practical steps to avoid common scams.
• The state agency offers free, non-biased investment classes in libraries through around the state and can tailor a presentation to any audience demographic.
• Our website www.Michigan.gov/ofir also has numerous guides on many different investment topics.
• 1/5 senior citizens have been victimized by a financial fraud. There has been a rise in financial exploitation against seniors.
• Seniors may be more vulnerable to financial scams because of a challenged economy and may be concerned about their retirement income.
Types of Scams
• "Free Lunch" investment seminars: where investors are often pitched unsuitable or fraudulent investments.
• Affinity fraud: where scam artists use a personal relationship to get consumers to let their guard down and entice them into an investment scam.
• Ponzi Schemes: a criminal promises big returns from bogus investments and pays the initial investors with money collected from new investors.
• Commodities Investments: headlines that have precious metals at an all-time high are used by scammers to entice consumers into investing into schemes involving commodities like oil, gas, gold and silver.
• If it's too good to be true it probably is.
• Consumers can also research individuals and companies on their own online with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) www.finra.org or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) www.sec.gov
• Again and most importantly, before investors give anyone their hard earned money, give us OFIR a call on their toll-free consumer hotline 877-999-6442. The state agency can run a check on any individual, company or product and make sure they are operating under Michigan law.
Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation