According to a recently released SEC Investor Alert, recipients of lump
sum payouts from BP need to be aware of investment scams that are designed
to take advantage of individuals who have been given highly publicized
payouts. Small businesses should also be on the alert.
Investment scams targeting payout recipients often involve promises of
high returns and little risk. Sometimes the scams involve complex investment strategies
that are designed to be difficult or impossible to understand. Similar
scams were plentiful after Hurricane Katrina and targeted people who had
recently compensation from insurance companies.
SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro was quoted in an Oct. 13 press release discussing
the scams. "We have seen firsthand how recipients of highly publicized
payouts can become targets for investment fraud," she said. "In
addition to our education efforts, we are on the lookout for any securities
scams in the Gulf area attempting to defraud individuals, families, and
businesses who already are financially strapped."
The SEC's alert includes a list of resources that payout recipients
can utilize to assist them in deciding how to best manage the money. For
additional information on investing wisely, contact the SEC Office of
Investor Education and Advocacy by calling (202) 551-6318 or e-mail LibraryOutreach@sec.gov.