Securities Fraud Notice Due To Coronavirus

The Commissioner Reminds Investors to Beware of Con Artists
Looking to Profit from Fear and Uncertainty

In light of the ongoing developments related to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and its impact on financial markets, the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions is reminding investors in Louisiana to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty.

"We know con artists are opportunistic and use current events to cloak their schemes with an air of immediacy and legitimacy. Never make an investment decision without understanding what you are investing in, who you are doing business with, where your money is going, how it will be used, and how you can get it back," said Commissioner John Ducrest. "Always ask if the salesperson and the security are registered with their state or provincial securities regulator."

Commissioner Ducrest also said investors should be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the market downturn and the Coronavirus to scare investors into so-called "safer, guaranteed investments." "If you have concerns about your retirement accounts or investments, talk to your financial professional," Ducrest said. "Avoid making decisions based on panic or fear."

To help investors identify common telltale signs of possible investment fraud, the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions has provided three questions to ask before making a new investment.

"Make sure you have all the facts before you hand your money over to someone else to invest," Ducrest said.

Commissioner Ducrest also encourages investors to contact the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Securities Division with any questions about the investment professional they are working with or the product being offered. The agency can be reached at (225) 925-4512 or Toll-free at 1-877-516-3653 or through the Securites Investor Education webpage (Click Here).

Updated February 28, 2020