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NFL Player Engagement has partnered with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to help players spot and avoid investment fraud and make informed financial decisions. Here are three steps you can take.
1. Before You Give Someone Your Money, Ask and Check
If someone contacts you about an investment—even if it is a friend or salesperson recommended by someone you trust and respect—it's important to ask the right questions and check them out by following these steps.
Before you work with a broker or other financial salesperson:
Ask: Are you licensed to sell me this? If so, with whom?
Check: Even if they say they are licensed, check out their license and background.
- Visit FINRA BrokerCheck® or call FINRA at (202) 728-6964.
- NFL players should also call NFL Security (800) 635-1099.
Before you buy an investment product:
Ask: Is this investment registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?
Check: If you are told it is, verify that the investment is indeed registered with the SEC.
- Contact the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at (800) SEC-0330.
Look up a brokerage firm or individual broker in BrokerCheck. It’s a free tool to help investors research the backgrounds of investment professionals and firms. It should be the first resource you turn to when choosing whether to start or continue doing business with a particular individual or firm.
2. Manage Your Money
Whether you're managing your money on your own or getting assistance from a financial professional, these resources can help you avoid problems and plan for a bright financial future. Find more alerts at FINRA.org/Investors.
- Choosing a Professional. You may choose to get help managing your money from many different types of professionals. They may be brokers, investment advisers, certified public accountants, lawyers, insurance agents or financial planners. And they may work in many different settings, from large firms to small private practices. But how should you choose?
- Controlling Debt. Managing your debt carefully can help you maintain good credit, stay within budget and achieve your goals—but it takes positive steps on your part. Get started with these tips and resources.
- Fighting Identity Theft. Identity theft is much more than an inconvenience—it can devastate your credit rating and derail financial security. With thieves constantly on the prowl for personal information, learn what steps you can take to protect your identity.
3. Spot and Avoid Fraud
Learn how fraud happens, who's at risk and the common red flags so you can better protect your money.
Use our Risk Meter to see whether you share characteristics and behavior traits that have been shown to make some investors vulnerable to investment fraud.
Video: How to Spot an Investment Scam
Investment fraud criminals use a wide array of sophisticated and highly effective tactics to get people to part with their money. Watch this video to learn how to spot and avoid the five red flags of investment fraud.
While there's no clear way to know if the investment you've been offered is too good to be true, our Scam Meter will help you tell if it might be a scam.