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Office of the Inspector General


 How to Protect Yourself from Investment Scams

If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you have an offer of assignment or to rent or lease a U.S. Treasury security for a certain period, it is, in all likelihood, bogus. Here are some ways to check the validity of offered securities, and how to protect yourself:
  • Be especially wary of securities offered for assignment or offered as proof of financial stability that bear the CUSIP number of 912810BU1.
  • Demand that the offeror produce the securities or evidence of ownership. If they can't, you should not consider the offer genuine.
  • Demand a statement from the financial institution holding book-entry securities. The statement should be sent to you directly.
  • Question the validity of any securities and information furnished to you with a trusted and informed source, such as your broker, accountant, or lawyer.
  • Confirm that the certifying or holding organization is legitimate, still in business, and how long it has been in business. Call the organization for specifics on the purported existence of the securities.
  • Ask if the person offering the investment is registered with the SEC or with the securities agency in the state or country where you live.
  • Do not assume that people or organizations are who they say they are.
Last Updated: 9/21/2012 2:16 PM
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For information about whistleblowing and reprisal and about your rights and responsibilities as a Treasury employee or contractor, please contact the OIG Whistleblower Ombudsman Program at


The Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203). Council members share information about their ongoing work, with a focus on concerns that may apply to the broader financial sector and ways to improve financial oversight. The Council is made of nine financial regulatory agency Inspectors General and is chaired by Eric Thorson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Treasury.