The PIABA Foundation

Promoting Investor Education

(405) 310-2444
 (855) 410-2444



Red Flags for Investors

  • “Guaranteed to double your money”
  • “Low risk for high returns!”
  • “This is an off-shore investment opportunity.”
  • “It takes advantage of a little-known loop hole in tax laws.”
  • “Keep this investment secret - we don’t want to let everyone in!”
  • “To get the most from this investment opportunity, you can borrow money or take out a mortgage and be set for life!”
  • “I’m calling from outside your State with an investment opportunity”


  • Did I initiate this meeting?
  • Is this person recommended by someone I trust?
  • Has this person had a long-term relationship with someone I trust?
  • Is this person registered to sell securities in my state?
  • Have I been provided with written information on the investment?
  • Have I been encouraged to borrow in order to invest?
  • Do I understand that higher returns equal higher risk?
  • Why is this supposed to be secret?
  • Have I verified this information with a trusted source such as my State Securities Regulator?

  • Check the registration of the seller and the product offered by contacting your State Securities Regulator.
  • Check to see if any enforcement action has been taken against the person offering the investment opportunity.
  • Check with someone you know and trust before investing any money.
  • Get written information (but be aware that professional looking information could be produced by the con artist).
  • Know how much risk you are willing to take with your investments.  Understand how much risk you should be taking given your age, family circumstances and other factors.
  • Never accept a verbal contract.
  • Never sign anything before reading it carefully and understanding it.
  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Take your time; don't allow anyone to rush your decision-making process.
  • If you are suspicious, contact your State Securities Regulator.




The PIABA Foundation appreciates the assistance of the Alabama Securities Commission in the preparation of this flyer.