Watch out! (with arrow pointing to header)  

If you responded to an investment idea like this . . .
          You could get scammed!

  An investor protection message, brought to you by:
Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities and Exchange Commission seal
North American Securities Administrators Association
North American Securities Administrators Association logo
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission seal
National Association of Securities Dealers
National Association of Securities Dealers logo


You've just taken an important first step before putting your money into an investment — checking out a company's financial statements. In fact, you won't find financial statements for McWhortle Enterprises, because the entire website is a complete fabrication, posted to alert investors to potential on-line frauds.

Before making any investment — online or offline — it pays to do your own research to make sure the company exists, that its products are genuine and its claims legitimate. McWhortle Enterprises has no track record and no legitimate products. (It can't, we made it up!) If a company is registered with the SEC, you can find financial statements on the SEC's website, filed electronically through "EDGAR." If a company is not registered with the SEC, check with your state securities regulator before investing.

The McWhortle "news release" talks about the company's "pro-forma" earnings. Remember that "pro forma" financial information is not prepared in accordance with the standards applied to financial statements filed with the SEC. While they aren't illegal — and in some cases can be helpful in focusing attention on critical portions of financial statements — "pro forma" should be viewed with appropriate and healthy skepticism. You can read more about "pro forma" financial statements in our investor alert on the topic.

We created this site because regulators are seeing an increase in the number of false claims preying on our fears of anthrax and other bio-hazards. The NASDR recently issued an investor alert warning that Americans' terrorism fears are spawning this kind of scam. And the SEC has sued several companies for making false anti-terrorism claims.

This site shows some of the telltale signs of on-line investment fraud. Promises of fast and high profits, with little or no risk, are classic red flags of fraud. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! For more information, read the SEC's brochure, "Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Investment Scams," the tip sheet, "Stock Market Fraud: `Survivor' Check List," and the NASDR's recent investor alert on stock scams in general.

e-mail us