THUMBS DOWN: Patriotic Scams

Physician's Money Digest, July31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 14


While many American patriots arebeing all they can be in defense oftheir country, some not-so-nobletypes are taking advantage of wartimepatriotism and the fear of terrorists.Look out for bogus investmentsand charities. Some keen conartists are capitalizing on fears of apossible oil crisis by offering investmentsin nonexistent oil wells.Contact your state securities regulatorthrough the North AmericanSecurities Administrators Association(202-737-0900; toverify that both the seller and theinvestment are licensed and registered.Be wary of solicitations fromphony charities claiming to supportthe troops. Con tricks include lookalikeorganization names (or evenreal charity names), offers to send acourier to pick up your donation,and callers requesting your bankaccount or credit card number.Never give out yourcredit card number or personal informationto a phone solicitor, andcheck out charities through theBetter Business Bureau Wise GivingAlliance (