Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson recently expanded the annual listing of nefarious financial products, practices and services that threaten to trap unsuspecting investors to include lurking dangers facing small business owners.
“With the delayed rollout of rules required by the JOBS Act, investors and small business owners alike must be on heightened alert for questionable investment offers and services,” Lawson said.
Lawson said she is worried that the recent lifting of an 80-year-old ban on the advertising of private offerings, mandated by the JOBS Act, will lead to greater abuse by unscrupulous promoters. The implementation of the JOBS Act has also created opportunities for unregulated third parties to provide ancillary services.
“Whether you are using a crowd funding portal or an accredited investor aggregator, it is important to do your due diligence and to understand that use of an unregulated third party to provide such services does not change your obligations under federal and state securities laws,” Lawson said. “Investors are not alone in their potential to be scammed. Using a fraudulent portal means both the business and the investor stand to lose.”
Lawson reminds investors to independently verify any investment opportunity as well as the background of the person and company offering the investment.
Information about each of the 2013 Top Investor and Small Business Threats is available on the agency’s website at http://www.in.gov/sos/securities/files/2013TopThreatsFacingInvestors.pdf.