Central Registration Depository
West Virginians are investing more into securities than ever before. For the
first time, investments outweigh bank deposits. We are investing into the stock
market and other securities faster than ever. The challenge for new investors is
separating the legitimate investments from the fraudulent business scheme; a
swindle; a scam.
Dishonest sales persons are calling with proposals for investing in everything
from motion pictures to worm farms and are finding investors! It may seem
bizarre that there are actually victims of these "tips" or "secret markets", but
even the smallest investment seems to snowball until investors find themselves
with a life's savings involved and no way out of what was guaranteed to them as
a "safe investment that will double or triple your money in as little as two
These crooks may also put up money for radio and television advertisements.
Sometimes, at the end of a sales pitch you may hear a quickly spoken disclaimer
like: "Some investors can and do lose money." or "Past performance is not
indicative of future results." These disclaimers are a good warning and should
be heeded. The disclaimer may have unequal weight in the advertisement, but it
nonetheless warns investors and protects marketers.
Not only could an investor lose all the money involved, but if investors chose
to use a margin account and an investment falls through, more money can be lost
than was initially invested. Crooks have no problem with taking your life's
"Security" could be considered a misnomer because it always involves some risk.
Investors should be suspicious anytime "risk-free" is mentioned. "Security" also
means no guarantee. Crooks will tell you anything to get your money ~ so beware!
Investigate before you invest!
The Central Registration Depository [CRD], is a computer database containing the
licensing and disciplinary histories on nearly 600,000 securities professionals
and 5,600 securities firms. The CRD, established in the early 1980's, is jointly
owned by North American Securities Administrators Association [NASAA]
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA]
Disciplinary information in the CRD system includes customer complaints,
arbitrations and actions by state, industry and federal regulators and law
enforcement agencies. The majority of brokers are honest, ethical professionals,
but investors should always check with state or industry regulators before
investing. Investors should also check a broker's education and work history.
When speaking with a securities salesperson or adviser, be sure to record
details of the recommendations received and the instructions given. Be sure to
keep the notes in your files.
You may call the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority toll-free disclosure
hotline at 800.289.9999. You can also request a broker's record online at
To check the CRD record of a broker or firm, or if you have any questions,
contact the West Virginia Securities Commission at 304.558.2257.
The West Virginia Securities Commission uses links to other Web sites for the
convenience of the user. Whenever you click on links provided, you are leaving
the West Virginia Securities Commission and entering an external site. The
Security Commission cannot attest to the accuracy of the information provided by
the external linked sites, nor does the Securities Commission endorse any
products or information obtained from these external sites.