U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is currently operating with very limited staff
As part of the Walz-Flanagan administration’s action plan to protect Minnesotans during the federal government shutdown, the Minnesota Commerce Department is available to assist Minnesotans who have questions or concerns about investment fraud and are unable to reach the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Governor Walz has asked us to take the lead to ensure that vital services are still available to protect Minnesota investors in the midst of the federal shutdown,” said Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley. “Fraudsters don’t stop just because the federal government does.”
Due to the ongoing shutdown, the SEC reports that it is currently operating with “a very limited number of staff members available.”
The Minnesota Commerce Department protects investors by enforcing the state’s securities laws and investigating allegations of investment fraud. The department has a long-standing collaborative relationship with the SEC and often works with the SEC’s Enforcement Division on investment fraud investigations.
The Commerce Department also cautions investors that recent volatility in the stock market could lead to an increase in fraudulent investment schemes. In particular, investors who are close to retirement may be targeted with high-pressure tactics pushing phony or deceptive investments that promise to make up an investor’s losses by paying high returns with no risks.
The bottom line, according to the Commerce Department: If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Report investment fraud
If you have a question or concern about a potential investment fraud, contact the Minnesota Commerce Department at 651-539-1637 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota). You may also send an email to email@example.com.
Protect yourself against fraud
The Minnesota Commerce Department offers comprehensive educational information on how you can protect yourself against financial fraud. Visit the Investor Education section of the Commerce website: https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/your-money/investor-education/.
Know who you are investing with
Before making an investment decision, be sure to check whether the agent, broker-dealer or investment adviser you are working with is registered or has been subject to enforcement actions.
For information on brokers, search the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck website. For information on registered investment adviser representatives and firms, search the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website at https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/. For enforcement actions taken by the Minnesota Commerce Department, search Commerce Actions and Regulatory Documents (CARDS): https://www.cards.commerce.state.mn.us/CARDS/.