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DISB Focuses on Fraud Prevention During America Saves Week

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
District residents can protect their wealth through fraud prevention.

(Washington, DC) — The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is partnering with America Saves Week to encourage District of Columbia residents not only to save but also to protect their savings through fraud prevention.

America Saves Week partners urge consumers to take financial action by committing to save, invest and build wealth. DISB calls on District residents to participate in America Saves Week events from February 22 to March 1, 2009, to discover how they can save, invest and, most important, safeguard their assets from investment fraud.

“Conventional wisdom tells us an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In these tough economic times, we encourage investors in Washington, DC, to add a fraud prevention twist to that maxim and verify before they buy,” said DISB Commissioner Thomas E. Hampton. “Taking the time to ask a few key questions can spell the difference between a financial gain and loss—the good news is that investors of all ages have the opportunity to learn how fraud prevention can safeguard their assets during America Saves Week.”

DISB recommends these investment fraud prevention tips for savers:

  • Verify Before You Buy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Check out the license and background of anyone selling investments.
  • Take your time. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics.
  • If you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact DISB at (202) 727-8000.

“The reality of the economic downturn we’re facing means more than ever investors with a savings balance of $100 or $100,000 can’t afford the loss of their hard earned money to investment fraud,” Commissioner Hampton said. “But while you may not be able to control the ups and downs of the market, you can protect your savings by putting these fraud prevention tips to work for you.” 

Commissioner Hampton urges investors to contact DISB with any questions about an investment product, broker or adviser before making an investment. “The best time to call us is before you part with your hard earned money,” he said.

During America Saves Week, DISB will be doing its first ever outreach to military families and service personnel, providing them with information about the agency and its services. The agency will be issuing press releases and Commissioner Hampton will be available for interviews. All consumers may call DISB to file a complaint, verify that a financial institution is licensed with DISB, access consumer information or request a speaker.

DISB is pleased to join the sponsor of America Saves Week, the Consumer Federation of America, and other partners such as the North American Securities Administrators Association, Federal Reserve Bank, United Way of America and the US Department of Defense to promote savings during this week. For more information about America Saves Week 2009, visit their website.