The Minnesota Department of Commerce is warning consumers to be cautious of fraudulent investments in light of the Federal Reserve's announcement that interest rates will likely remain low until late 2014. Those low interest rates could spur more scammers promising higher returns and lower risk to people on fixed incomes -- particularly seniors.
“Anyone promising high yield or high returns with little or no risk should be approached with a high degree of skepticism," Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement.
From the news release, the department gave these tips to investors:
• Does this investment sound too good to be true? Use common sense and get a professional, third-party opinion when presented with investment opportunities that seem to offer unusually high returns in comparison to other investment options.• Did you have enough time to make the decision? Ask for written information that fully explains the investment. The documentation should contain enough clear and accurate information to allow you or your investment adviser to evaluate and verify the particulars of the investment.• Were you given confidential, “inside information”, or a limited offer? These phrases are often used in fraudulent investments to encourage a quick investment decision.• Are the seller and investment licensed and registered in Minnesota? The Commerce Department can tell you if they are. If they are not, they may be operating illegally.
Reach the department either by the consumer help line at (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602, by e-mail at email@example.com or by mail at 85, 7th Place East, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55101.
More from Star Tribune
More From Whistleblower
The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.
A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.