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Investor Education

Verifying an Adviser or Investment

You work hard for your money; DO NOT allow a smooth-talking salesperson to take it away from you. If you receive an unexpected offer from someone trying to convince you to send money so that you can take advantage of a great investment opportunity:

Check to see if the investment firm and adviser are registered:

  • ASK if the firm and salesperson are registered with the Department of Financial Institutions to do business in Wisconsin.
  • VERIFY by calling the Division of Securities at (608) 266-2139.

Check to see if the investment product is registered or exempt from registration:

  • ASK if the investment is registered or has made a filing with the Department for sale in Wisconsin.
  • VERIFY by calling the Division of Securities at (608) 266-2139.

Many of these schemes claim that what is being sold is not a security. Some sellers falsely claim that promissory notes or other investments are not securities. Or the interests they are selling are labeled "general partnership interests" or "limited liability membership interests.” If they are doing the essential managerial work and you are mostly just giving them money, then they are selling a security and it must be registered with Wisconsin Division of Securities unless otherwise exempt from such registration. People offering and selling fraudulent investments normally do not even attempt to register them under the securities laws, because of the factual disclosures they must make in order to get the securities registered. That is why you should always check to see whether the investments being offered to you are registered or exempt from registration.