Oil and Gas Investments
What to look out for
With the increased demand for oil and gas it is no surprise that stock brokers are using this as their new means of soliciting customer funds. Brokers and brokerage firms offer oil and gas investments through private placement investments in oil and gas ventures. These investments typically involve large upfront fees and then use the remained to drill wells or lease land where drilling occurs. While there are some legitimate oil and gas investments out there, most are illegitimate and a fraud.
Here are a few things to be wary of for in any investment, but especially oil and gas investments.
- “I read about this in the news!” If you have heard about a certain gas crisis in the middle east, you can pretty much guarantee the stock brokers have heard about it too and are going to use it to deceive customers, like yourself. Keep an eye out for sales pitches that refer to popular topics on the news. These are almost always a scam.
- “But, he said there was no risk” Every investment carries risk. Anytime you invest your money in something, whether it is a security, or a friend’s restaurant, you are taking a risk that you may lose money. Brokers who guarantee “no risk” or describes an investment as “completely safe” are lying. Do not fall for this trap.
- “It just came in the mail one day.” If you have received unsolicited literature or phone calls asking you to invest in oil and gas, this should be a huge red flag. Corrupt brokers will operate boiler rooms and use banks and insurance companies to get contact information for potential investors. Brochures that show a happy couple retired on the beach, enjoying the profits from their high yielding low risk investment, are simply another deception mechanism to entice you into handing over your hard earned money.
- “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.” This trick is old as time itself. If you offer a piece of toy to a child, she may not want it until another child reaches for it. Brokers know this and they often try to capitalize on it. Be wary of brokers who tell you “this investment opportunity won’t last long” and “act now”. Another tactic is, “XYZ has already invest and made millions!” the chances are, that celebrity they told you invested has never even heard of this investment. They are trying to entice you into wanting something just because someone else has it, or someone may have it soon. Do not fall for it.
- “Get rich, quick!” Investments are not the lottery. There is no legitimate investment that will make you a millionaire overnight. Any investment that promises to make you rich, fast will involve an incredibly high degree of risk. Remember, as a general rule, you can have a high return but with it comes a high risk of loss. These two are generally not separable in the investment world. Safer investment with low risk, often produce a low return over a long span of time.
- “Keep it just between us.” Anytime an investor discourages you from sharing what he’s told you with an attorney or another financial advisor, head for the hills. Any legitimate broker will have your best interest at heart and encourage you to realize the full weight of your decision before entering into it. If a broker suggests you decide quickly and not talk to anyone about it, they are scamming you.
In general, you can think of it this way: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a broker approaches you with a “get rich quick” scheme, especially relating to oil and gas investment, stay far away, look them up on FINRA’s BrokerCheck database, or the SEC’s EDGAR program (use this for companies you are researching) or contact the securities attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta immediately.What to do if you’ve lost money
If you, like thousands of other people, have already fallen prey to a corrupt broker by way of an oil and gas investment, please do not feel alone and do not be embarrassed. The dedicated attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta have extensive experience handling these matters. In fact, our firm prosecutes cases nationwide on behalf of investors like yourself. The law provides you with an avenue for recovery in these cases, but time is of the essence so please, do not delay. Call Fitapelli Kurta today for your free case evaluation. All of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. If you don’t win, we don’t win. Call now.Who is offering these investments?
The following firms, among others not listed, have been offering various oil and gas investments:
Cetera Advisors, LLC
The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc.
Sammons Securities Company, LLC
Alliance Affiliated Equities Corp.