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Gallagher Warns Investors: Verify before You Buy

6/6/2005

COMUNÍQUESE CON:
Tami Torres o Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today that he is expanding efforts to promote investor education and protect investors from financial scams. His message, communicated through public service announcements and billboard advertising, is Be a Smart Investor:  Verify Before You Buy.  
 
"Each year, thousands of Floridians fall prey to financial scams that cheat them out of their hard-earned money or retirement savings," said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services. "Our goal with this campaign is to protect investors by getting their questions answered before they invest." 
 
Gallagher said both the PSAs and billboards will help direct Floridians to the department's helpline number – 1-800-342-2762 – where they can verify that a broker, firm or company is licensed to sell investments and how long they've been doing business in Florida.  Los posibles inversionistas también pueden averiguar si hay alguna queja presentada o si se han tomado medidas contra el corredor o compañía que están considerando.

Gallagher dijo además que los posibles inversionistas pueden utilizar una nueva herramienta en línea para verificar que un corredor o una compañía esté autorizada ingresando a www.yourmoneyyourlife.org and then clicking on Be a Smart Investor: Verify Before You Buy.  El sitio web además ofrece consejos y recursos para ayudar a los inversionistas de todas las edades y niveles de ingresos a protegerse mejor contra del fraude de inversiones.
 
"Education and awareness are often an investor's best defense against fraud," said Gallagher, who launched a statewide public education initiative last fall to help Floridians avoid debt and build assets.  "Before purchasing a stock, bond, insurance product or any financial product, Floridians should verify they are legitimate investments."
 
Gallagher también recomendó que los posibles inversionistas pidan y lean un folleto informativo sobre cualquier inversión, el cual suministre información sobre el plan comercial de la compañía, y sobre sus funcionarios y directores, e investigar las reclamaciones realizadas en el folleto informativo.
As part of the campaign, billboards will be going up in the following markets:  Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Ocala, Gainesville, Ft. Myers, Daytona, Melbourne, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Tampa, Tallahassee, Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City.  The Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA) and its participating member companies donated the billboards as part of their statewide public service program.
 
"FOAA is proud to offer assistance with this statewide public service effort," said Charlotte Brand, FOAA President and CEO.
Financial support for the "Be a Smart Investor: Verify Before You Buy" campaign is provided by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust (IPT).  El IPT es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a la educación del inversionista. Desde 1993, el IPT ha trabajado con los Estados para brindar la educación independiente y objetiva del inversionista necesaria para todos los estadounidenses para llevar a cabo decisiones informadas sobre las inversiones. Su sitio Web es www.investorprotection.org.
 
 
NOTE TO MEDIA:  Public service announcements can be viewed via the website at www.yourmoneyyourlife.org, then click on Be a Smart Investor: Verify Before You Buy.  For a VHS or Beta copy of the PSA, contact the DFS Press Office at 850-413-2842.