Posts Tagged ‘FINRA’

Protect yourself with help from FINRA*

You Can Protect Yourself from Fake Check Scams

  • Mystery Shopping Scam

  • Modeling Scam

  • Unexpected Check Scam

Here’s How (from FINRA’s investor newsletter)

  • Know the hallmarks of fraud. Fake check scams typically have a number of red flags, such as:
    • Typos: Watch out for online postings or emails that are riddled with typos and poor grammar.
    • Mismatched names: Compare the name of the person or company posting the opportunity with the name on the check you receive—and beware if they don’t match.
    • Pressure to act quickly: Be aware that it can take 10 days or even more for your bank to determine that a check is counterfeit. Don’t wire or transfer funds until you have verified with your bank that the check has cleared—even if the bank allows you to withdraw the money sooner.

If you receive a suspicious check, be sure to contact one or more of the following organizations right away: your local police, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center), or the U.S. Postal Inspections Service (if the check arrived by U.S. mail).

Maine’s Office of Securities Announces Improvements to

Individual Investors and Businesses Benefit from Enhancements to National Securities Industry Database

AUGUSTA, MAINE  —  Securities Administrator Judith Shaw announced this week that investors and businesses have an additional tool at their disposal to research the background and disciplinary history of licensed stock brokers and investment advisers.  The recently launched FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online database is a web-based searchable system that makes FINRA disciplinary actions accessible directly online.

 Administrator Shaw explained that the database benefits the public by increasing the transparency of and access to FINRA’s files on stock brokers and investment advisers who have been involved in disciplinary actions.  The public is now able to quickly search, download, print or read FINRA actions free of charge, seven days a week.  

 Users may search the system in a variety of ways, including by individual broker name and Central Registration Depository (CRD) number, or by firm name and CRD number, as well as by case number or action date (by date range).  Previously, the public had to contact FINRA to obtain copies of disciplinary actions.  The new database makes disciplinary action documents–including Letters of Acceptance, Waivers and Consent, and settlements–immediately available.

 “Investors are always encouraged to contact Maine’s Office of Securities to check the registration of investment opportunities, as well as the licensing and background of investment advisors,” Shaw commented.  “Enhancements to FINRA’s BrokerCheck® online system, however, make it easier than ever for investors to obtain additional information on their own.”  

Shaw said personal service is available from professional staff at the Office of Securities by calling toll-free 1-877-624-8551 (TTY: 888-577-6690).  Online disciplinary history through FINRA’s BrokerCheck system is available at www.finra.org/brokercheck.  In 2010, members of the public used BrokerCheck to conduct 17.2 million reviews of broker or firm records.

 The Office of Securities oversees the securities industry in Maine.  It is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which encourages sound ethical business practices through the regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine.  More information about the Office and its resources is available at www.maine.gov/pfr/securities. 

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for securities firms doing business in the US. For more information, visit www.finra.org.

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