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Consumer Alert:

08/25/2004

NEW VOICE MAIL STOCK TIP SCAM IS WORTHLESS OFFER

 

 

CONTACT: DFS Press Office
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE - You just checked your voice mail and it seems like the luckiest day of your life. In an apparent case of mistaken identity, a caller has just given you an inside tip on a sure-fire stock deal.

But before you put your hard-earned savings into that little-known but soon-to-be booming investment, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher warns that you should take a second look. You could be about to fall for a new twist on an old con.

"The people behind the messages intend to profit by hyping the stock, driving up its price, then selling and leaving victims with losses," Gallagher said, and reminded investors to be cautious about any investment. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

"Con artist are always discovering new ways to cheat investors out of their hard-earned money," Gallagher said. "I am issuing this warning with the hope of arming Floridians with information to protect themselves."

Gallagher said the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) have received numerous complaints regarding this scam, in which a voice mail message states that the stock price of certain small companies will soon shoot up. The message is intended to sound as if the caller is confiding inside information to a friend. Voice mail messages are appearing www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/voicemail-edited.wav on home answering machines from coast to coast, according to the Securities Exchange Commission.

If you suspect that you may be the victim of investment fraud, log on to www.fldfs.com to file a complaint on-line or call the Florida Department of Financial Services' Helpline at 1-800-342-2762. Please have ready the date and time of the call, the phone number that received the call, the phone number provided for call-back, and the recommended stock.