The following incidents have been documented by the Fairfield Glade Police Department for June 9-15, 2019:
June 9 — Lakeview Drive, Arrest (DUI). A motorist was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest after running their car into a ditch.
June 13 — Peavine Road, Arrest (DUI). A motorist was stopped for a traffic violation and arrested for DUI. The passenger was cited for criminal litter.
Security Tip of the Week
The key to avoiding investment scams on the internet is to be an educated investor. Below are five tips to help seniors avoid securities fraud.
1. Look out for "Red Flags”
Wherever you come across a recommendation for an investment on the internet, the following "red flags" should cause you to use caution in making an investment decision:
• It sounds too good to be true. Any investment that sounds too good to be true probably is. Be extremely wary of claims on the internet that an investment will make “incredible gains” or is a “breakout stock pick.” Claims like these are hallmarks of extreme risk or outright fraud.
• The promise of "guaranteed" returns with little or no risk. Every investment entails some level of risk, which is reflected in the rate of return you can expect to receive. Most fraudsters spend a lot of time trying to convince investors that extremely high returns are "guaranteed" or that the investment "can't miss." Don't believe it.
• Offers to invest outside the United States. You should carefully examine any unsolicited offer to invest outside of the United States. Many fraudsters set up operations outside the United States to make it more difficult for regulators to stop their fraudulent activity and recover their victims' money.
• Pressure to buy right now. Don't be pressured or rushed into buying an investment before you have a chance to think about - and investigate - the "opportunity." Be especially skeptical of investments that are pitched as "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities.
2. Be wary of unsolicited offers
Investment fraud criminals look for victims, including seniors, on the internet. If you see a new post on your wall, a tweet mentioning you, a direct message, an e-mail, or any other unsolicited communication (meaning you didn't ask for it and don't know the sender) regarding a so-called investment opportunity, you should exercise extreme caution. An unsolicited sales pitch may be part of a fraudulent investment scheme.
3. Look out for "Affinity Fraud"
An investment pitch made through an online group of which you are a member, or on a chat room or bulletin board catering to an interest you have, may be an affinity fraud. Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, often seniors, religious or ethnic communities, professional groups, or combinations of those groups. Even if you know the person making the investment offer, be sure to check out everything - no matter how trustworthy the person seems who brings the investment to your attention. Remember, the person making you the offer may not know that the investment is a scam.
4. Be thoughtful about privacy and security settings
Seniors who use social media as a tool for investing should be mindful of the various features on these websites that can help protect privacy. Understand that unless you guard personal information, it may be available not only to your friends, but for anyone with access to the internet- including fraudsters. For more information on privacy and security settings, as well as other guidance regarding setting up online accounts with an eye toward avoiding investment fraud.
5. Ask questions and check out the answers
Be skeptical. Never judge a person's integrity, or the merits of an investment, without doing thorough research on both the person selling the investment and the investment itself. Investigate the investment thoroughly and check the truth of every statement you are told about the investment. You can check out many investments using the SEC's EDGAR filing system or through your state's securities regulator. You can check out registered brokers at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) Broker Check website and registered investment advisers at the SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website.
Where can I go for help?
Never be afraid to complain or ask questions. If you suspect fraud or a questionable practice and the explanations you receive are not satisfactory, do not let embarrassment or concern that you will be judged incapable of handling your own affairs prevent you from filing a complaint. Seniors who learn of investing opportunities from social media should always be on the lookout for fraud. If you have a question or concern about an investment, or you think you have encountered fraud, please contact the SEC, FINRA, or your state securities regulator to report the fraud and to get assistance.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-0213
Telephone: (800) 732-0330
Fax: (202) 772-9295
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
FINRA Complaints and Tips
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 590-6500
Fax: (866) 397-3290
North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Telephone: (202) 737-0900