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TDCI Alerts Consumers About “IRS Approved” Investment Advertising

Companies Advertising “IRS/IRA Approved” Cryptocurrency Retirement Investments
Friday, May 25, 2018 | 12:54pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) Securities Division is alerting Tennessee consumers to be wary of advertising related to the transfer of funds from Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”) into what have been advertised as “Cryptocurrency IRAs endorsed by the IRS.”

While TDCI Securities regulators are not recommending nor criticizing the use of IRA funds to purchase cryptocurrencies, the Department is reminding Tennesseans to be cautious when investing in cryptocurrencies, especially if advertised as “IRS approved” or “IRA approved.” These advertisements or solicitations, often for highly speculative or non-traditional types of investments, mislead by falsely claiming that the IRS has approved a particular investment.

TDCI is issuing this alert as part of the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) crackdown on fraudulent cryptocurrency activities.

The IRS does not review or approve or endorse investments. Additionally, the IRS does not advise people on how to invest their IRAs, issue any statement that an investment in an IRA is protected because a particular trustee or custodian has been approved by the IRS.

Before investing, consumers should remember the following tips from the IRS:

·        Avoid any investment touted as “IRA Approved” or otherwise endorsed by the IRS. „

·        Don’t buy an investment on the basis of a television “infomercial” or radio advertisement.

·        Beware of promises of no-risk, sky-high returns on exotic investments for your retirement account. „

·        Never transfer or rollover your IRA or other retirement funds directly to an investment promoter. „

·        Proceed with caution when you are encouraged to invest in a “general partnership” or “limited liability company.” 

·        Don’t be swayed by the fact that a bank or trust department is serving as an IRA custodian. Always check out an investment and promoter before you turn over your money. „

·        Educate yourself about IRAs and retirement planning.

·        Exercise extra caution during the tax season when it comes to making IRA investments. „

Tennesseans who may have invested in any investments marketed as “IRA/IRS Approved” are urged to contact TDCI by (615) 741-5900 or by email at securities.1@tn.gov

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