The man said the card used the words “win” and “send us $500” in conjunction. Wait a minute. If you have to pay money, you’re not really winning. While it wasn’t clear to myself or the consumer what he would get for his money, the card did refer to oil and gas leases.
Are there legitimate oil and gas lease investments? Sure. But here’s what the North American Securities Administrators Association has to say about fraudulent offers:
Scams are often structured “with the legal entity in one state, the operation/physical presence of the field in another state, and offerings made to prospective investors in [additional] states.” This, NASAA explains, reduces the chance of an investor dropping by a nonexistent site and makes it harder for law enforcement to expose the fraud.
“State securities regulators caution potential investors to beware of the following claims, especially if they’re combined with a high-pressure sales pitch:
• You will have an interest in a well that cannot miss
• The risks are minimal
• A geologist has given the salesperson a tip
• The salesperson has personally invested in the venture
• The promoter has “hit” on every well drilled so far
• There has been a tremendous “discovery” in an adjacent field
• A big, reputable oil company is operating or planning to operate in the area
• Only a few interests remain to be sold and you should immediately send in your money in order to assure the purchase of an interest
• This is a special private deal open only to a lucky chosen few investors
“State securities regulators advise potential investors not to be afraid to ask the hard questions when solicited for oil and gas investment opportunities. Investors wanting to make oil and gas investments should consider companies which are well-established and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
“You can minimize the risk of being swindled if you resist pressures to make hurried, uninformed investment decisions. There are several steps you should take before parting with your money. State securities regulators have developed a checklist of five key areas to examine before investing:”
- The Registration Requirements
- The Salesperson
- The Company
- The Investment
- The Lease
Additional Questions to Ask Before Investing
The checklist of questions to ask and information to obtain is long and it will take time and perhaps even money invested in outside consultation before you feel comfortable risking your money in the investment. It is always advisable to seek the advice of a neutral expert before committing your funds to any investment deal.
Where to Turn for Help
The securities administrator in your state, province or territory is responsible for the protection of investors. If you have questions about an investment, contact your securities administrator.
You can locate your securities administrator on NASAA’s website. It is a good idea to contact your securities administrator before you invest. And, you can always search www.bbb.org to find out what we know about a company.