SEC launches ad campaign to remind investors: If it sounds too good to be true...

There’s no risk. This opportunity won’t last long. This is the perfect time. You’re money can only grow.

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to begin running public service announcements around the country — and in Baltimore — to remind viewers of this investment adage and refer them to its information website for investors: Investor.gov.

The site offers a variety of information for investors, including a free search tool to allow investors to check the background of their investment professional and potentially avoid fraud.

“It can be hard to spot a fraudster, and Investor.gov’s free search tools can help investors verify that they are dealing with a registered investment professional,” said Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, in a statement.

The SEC said that more than 9 million users have accessed Investor.gov since it first launched in October 2009.

“Investor education is an important line of defense against fraud and is critical to our efforts to both protect Main Street investors and improve their financial decision making,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in a statement. “Through public service outreach, the SEC will continue to focus on empowering investors.”

The SEC is running television ads on ESPN, TNT and NBAtv, SEC spokeswoman Gina Talamona said in an email. In Baltimore, the agency started running radio spots Monday on WLIF-FM and WBAL-FM, she said. It plans to run the public service announcement 208 times over the next four weeks.

cdinsmore@baltsun.com

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