The South Carolina Investor Information Program
We are a society of investors. Americans now put more money into investments each year than into savings accounts. Unfortunately, millions of dollars are lost by South Carolina investors through securities fraud, sales abuses, or an investor's failure to fully educate themselves on a particular issue. Frequently, these losses are from savings that have been painstakingly accumulated over many years or retirement funds that can't be replaced. Victims are of all ages and levels of sophistication. In the majority of these losses, none of the investors' money is ever recovered. To help prevent these losses, the Securities Division of the South Carolina Attorney General's Office has established the Investor Education and Information Program.
The Purpose of the Program
The Investor Education and Information Program:
- Alerts investors to potentially fraudulent securities schemes;
- Provides practical, current information to help investors protect themselves; and
- Informs South Carolinians about basic securities laws and protections.
Because state and federal securities regulators can't predict all of the securities frauds and abuses that may occur in South Carolina, the Investor Education and Information Program is designed to help investors protect themselves.
Information to Help You
The program's publications cover several investment-related topics, including the avoidance of scams, microcap stock (penny stock) fraud, and how senior citizens can avoid being conned. The Securities Division also provides free information about the companies and people who sell these investments. You can learn about specific steps to take and agencies to call when you have questions. You can also find out whether your salesperson is licensed to sell securities and whether there have been complaints against the salesperson or the broker/dealer.
You also will be reminded of some basic investing rules, such as:
- No matter how you choose to invest your money, there will always be a degree of risk involved. (Risk means you may lose all or part of your investment.)
- The higher the potential return, the more risky the investment.
Speakers for Groups and Organizations
In addition to publications, speakers are available for community groups and organizations at no charge. Groups interested in scheduling an Investor Education and Information Program representative should contact our office.
How is the program funded?
The Investor Education and Information Program is a public service for South Carolina investors. Program expenses are paid from registration fees collected from broker/dealers, investment advisors, and mutual funds, and from settlements of lawsuits involving brokerage firms and other companies.