The World Wide Web offers an almost endless array of investment opportunities. However, you should be aware that some of these authentic looking opportunities might not be legitimate.
As always, it pays to be cautious before investing.
The North American Securities Administrators Association offers these tips to give scammers the boot:
Don't assume that your on-line service screens investment claims.
Steer clear of seldom-traded stocks that are hyped on-line. Swindlers will post multiple "alias" messages to spark a buying frenzy and send the price of the stock skyrocketing, artificially, of course.
Insist on getting printed information before investing. Never buy anything based only on what you pull off the Internet.
Never give your address, telephone number or credit card number to a stranger over the Internet.
Make sure any investments you're considering are registered with the proper regulatory agency. If they're not, they cannot be sold to you legally.
Don't assume that the person touting the investment is whom he or she claims. To sell, the person must be registered with your state's securities agency.
For more information, write to NASAA at 10 G. St., N.E., Suite 710, Washington, D.C. 02002 or visit their Web site at www.nasaa.org.
Ronald Wilson, a certified public accountant and certified financial planner, is a financial advisor with Raymond James Financial Services. Contact him at (561) 844-8448 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.