Reducing the risks of investment

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Students and community members gain an important education in how to avoid fraud. Nate Edwards / UVU Review

Experts from various fields took part in a daylong event called Fraud College on June 30 at UVU.

The panels covered a wide range of topics, everything from,  “Are you an easy target?” to an inter-faith and community panel. All of the panel guests provided information and made suggestions aimed to increase fraud awareness.

During the event, key “red flags” of were discussed. For example, if you are working with a used car salesman, pay close attention. If the investment is unclear, urgent or a limited-time offer, steer clear.

Part of becoming fraud-proof is that you “have to educate yourself in all things, especially in those things that can devastate your life,” said Paula Jojala-Brog, chairman of Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

It was suggested that when approached about making investments, the track- record and credibility of the organization should be checked out, even for non-profits. One should also trace the donated or invested money to make sure it ends up in the right hands.

“Bad things happen when good people fail to stand up and speak,” said Gary Doctorman, a board member of Temple Har Shalom in Park City, board member of the Central Pacific Anti-Defamation League and shareholder of Parsons Behle & Latimer.

A good con man is one who allows you to convince yourself of how great of a deal is, rather than him having to do the convincing.

A good con man is one who allows you to convince yourself.

“Separate promoter from the promotion. A good investment should stand on its own,” said Keith Woodwell, director of Utah State Division of Securities.

Before making an investment, it should be considered what one would do if things went wrong.
“[We all need a] constant reminder of what to do so we don’t get caught in the  fraud,” said Cade Cunningham, a business major.

Fraud College was a helpful reminder of the potential pitfalls and hidden traps that lay waiting within the investing community. Some useful resources are websites such as and

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