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RICHMOND – Social media and online chatrooms allow today’s investors to connect more frequently with one another than ever before. While these resources make investing more accessible to greater numbers of people, they also pose significant risks to the Virginia investor community, especially novice investors, if not approached with caution. The State Corporation Commission (SCC) urges all Virginians to use caution when using online resources, including smartphone investing apps, to invest.

Danny Taylor, the chief of investigations for the SCC’s Division of Securities and Retail Franchising, notes that social media campaigns and online forums can be misleading. This is because investors on those platforms can influence the trading volatility of a stock by raising interest in a certain company.

“Reddit happens to be a very large platform for younger investors, as well as TikTok,” Taylor said. He added that investments related to the recent cryptocurrency surge are one of the biggest issues that his division is currently facing.

Investors who closely follow social media about trending investments could be at risk of making decisions before considering all of the important information about those investments. To address this problem, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) recently issued an investor awareness advisory to help investors avoid making emotional decisions that can negatively impact their long-term investing strategy:

  • Resist the pressure created by social media chat platforms and buy/sell indicators influenced by social opinions. Do your homework on the sources making recommendations about an investment.
  • Check the registration status of both a security’s promoter and the security itself before making any purchase.
  • Make sure you fully understand how trading on margin and options work before undertaking such a strategy. Margin and options trading are generally riskier than simply buying or selling securities.
  • Keep your long-term investment goals in mind before being pressured into any volatile investment.

The SCC’s Division of Securities and Retail Franchising offers a full list of resources that investors may use to keep themselves safe online.

For more information on securities regulation and registration in Virginia, contact the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising at 804-371-9051 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945. For more information, visit the Division’s website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Consumer-Investments, or visit the North American Securities Administrators Association’s website at www.nasaa.org.

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Contact: Ford Carson, 804-371-9141

 

RICHMOND – Although ocean-related weather is relatively quiet now, with only one named storm so far this year, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and follows an active 2020 hurricane season that serves as a stark reminder of the need to plan ahead for hurricanes. After a record-breaking 2020 season with 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, six major hurricanes and 12 storms that made landfall, forecasters are predicting another above average hurricane season for 2021. Although Virginia was spared the brunt of last year’s storms, certain areas of the Commonwealth felt them indirectly in the form of remnant rainfall and accompanying floods.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year. The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages Virginians to review their insurance policies now to make sure they have the coverage needed if a hurricane or other disaster strikes. Once the threat of a hurricane or other weather system arises, it may be difficult to find an insurance company willing to write related coverage until the storm passes.

“Tropical cyclones such as hurricanes are among the strongest and most destructive forces of nature. All it takes is one storm to change your life dramatically, so the time to plan is NOW, said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. White encourages Virginians to review their insurance policies as part of their disaster preparedness checklist. “Assess your risk and make sure you have the coverage you need to repair or replace your home and property if they are damaged or destroyed during a hurricane or other disaster. Contact your insurance agent or company or the Bureau of Insurance if you have questions,” he said.

Even areas hundreds of miles inland from the coast can experience floods and other damage caused by hurricanes’ high winds and torrential rains. In fact, most hurricane damage comes from flooding, not high winds. Even minor floods can cause extensive damage to your home, business or belongings.

Keep in mind that homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not provide coverage for damage to your home and belongings due to floods, surface water or storm surges. However, the federal government does sell insurance covering direct flood and flood-related damage to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about this program, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1-800-427-4661 or visit floodsmart.gov. Some private insurers offer their own flood policies, so check with your insurance agent about the availability of a private flood insurance policy. In either case, ask whether your flood policy provides coverage for your personal property.

Some homeowners insurance policies contain a special deductible for wind or hurricane losses. These deductibles are applied separately from any other deductible on the homeowners policy. Some insurance companies automatically include a wind or hurricane deductible, while others offer this deductible at the policyholder’s option. Wind or hurricane deductibles may be written as a flat amount, such as $1,000, or they may be applied to the loss as a percentage of the insurance coverage on the dwelling. Remember that the deductible is the amount that you are responsible for paying before the insurance company pays its portion of a claim.

As part of the preparation for any potential disaster, the Bureau encourages policyholders to prepare a complete inventory of their personal property including photographs, videotapes and serial numbers. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free smartphone app – myHOME Scr.APP.book – can facilitate this process. If possible, keep your insurance policies and home inventory accessible in a safe, waterproof and fireproof place.

If your property is damaged by a hurricane, contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. Make necessary emergency repairs and take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property. Compile a list of all damage to your property and include photographs, notes and repair-related receipts. In the event you must evacuate, know the name of your insurance company and take your homeowners, auto and other insurance policies and your home inventory with you or make sure you have saved these important documents electronically. The policies will contain your policy numbers and the phone numbers of your insurance companies in case you have questions or need to file a claim.

The Bureau of Insurance offers free consumer guides for homeowners and commercial property owners with information about what to do when a disaster strikes. These and many other consumer insurance guides are available at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance. The Bureau’s specially trained staff stand ready to assist consumers with their insurance-related questions and concerns. For more information, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9185. For additional emergency preparedness information relating to hurricanes and other types of disasters and hazards, visit vaemergency.gov.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved the annual plans for the development of new solar, onshore wind, and energy storage resources for Dominion Energy Virginia and Appalachian Power Company under a renewable energy portfolio standard program established by the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).

In completing a detailed analysis of the two plans and issues raised in these proceedings, the Commission wrote in its final orders that it is guided by the statute and the record. “We have exercised the Commission’s delegated discretion in a manner that faithfully implements the VCEA requirements that include carbon reduction, while best protecting consumers who expect and deserve reliable and affordable service.”

For the limited purpose of filing the first renewable portfolio standard (RPS) plans under the VCEA, the SCC found these plans are reasonable and prudent. The Commission further noted that when evaluating subsequent plans and associated petition requests, such future annual filings shall analyze how plans and requests address and implement the RPS and carbon dioxide reduction requirements.

As part of the final order in the Dominion case, the Commission approved the construction of three solar generating facilities, known as the Grassfield, Norge and Sycamore solar facilities totaling approximately 82 megawatts (MW). The SCC also approved the company’s plan to enter into six power purchase agreements for approximately 416 MW of solar power from facilities owned by third parties.

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Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

Case Number PUR-2020-00134 – Establishing RPS Proceeding for Dominion Energy Virginia
Case Number PUR-2020-00135 – Establishing RPS Proceeding for Appalachian Power

RICHMOND – More Virginians who buy health insurance through HealthCare.gov (the Marketplace) may now qualify for financial help with those premiums. Virginians who already receive financial help could be eligible for additional savings on health insurance coverage following Congress’ passage of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP). 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 77,000 uninsured Virginians are newly eligible for tax credits that reduce the cost of their health insurance premiums. An estimated four out of five enrollees may be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month with these tax credits. A family of four with household income of $90,000 could see premiums reduced by approximately $200 per month.

Following a Special Enrollment Period that began earlier this year, enrollment is now open through August 15 – no qualifying life event is necessary. If you already are covered through the Marketplace, you will need to re-enroll to take advantage of the new savings. 

In Virginia, if you change from a health insurance plan not offered through the Marketplace to the same plan issued through the Marketplace, your cost-share accumulations – money you have paid out of pocket for medical services during the plan year – will transfer. Also, in Virginia, you can change to any Marketplace plan under the same insurer and your cost-share accumulations will transfer as long as the policyholder remains the same. It is important to understand, however, that when changing to a plan offered by a different insurer, your cost-share accumulations will not transfer.

“Whether you are uninsured, underinsured or looking for more savings on your health insurance, now is a great time for Virginians to review their health insurance coverage,” said Victoria Savoy, director of the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange. “The Special Enrollment Period and the American Rescue Plan offer an opportunity to save money on your health insurance premiums, increase your coverage, and sometimes both.”

NEW under ARP:

  • Many Virginians now qualify for help paying for health coverage, even if they were not eligible in the past. The previous cap of 400 percent of the federal poverty level to receive premium tax credits has been removed. Premium savings are now available that cap the cost of the benchmark plan premium at 8.5 percent of household income.
  • Most people currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan qualify for additional savings.
  • Any excess 2020 tax credits owed back under reconciliation are now forgiven. This relief may affect how you complete your 2020 tax return. The IRS issued a news release outlining this relief on April 9. Visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/news-releases-for-current-month to review the release entitled, “IRS suspends requirement to repay excess advance payments of the 2020 Premium Tax Credit; those claiming net Premium Tax Credit must file Form 8962.”
  • Consumers eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for as little as one week in 2021 may be eligible for $0 premium coverage with a low or no deductible. Visit Healthcare.gov to shop for coverage.
  • Consumers who lost their job or had hours reduced may be eligible for free COBRA benefits from April 1-September 30, 2021. If qualified, your employer should provide information by May 30, 2021.

To enroll, update or change health insurance plans during the 2021 Special Enrollment Period, visit Healthcare.gov through August 15. Current enrollees must update their account to take immediate advantage of available savings. To do that, they must log in, review their application, make any necessary changes to their information, and submit their application to receive an updated eligibility determination before continuing to enroll.

Virginians who are new to the Marketplace and want to take advantage of these cost savings should visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Coverage begins on the first day of the month after a plan is selected. For example, coverage will start June 1, 2021, for plans selected in May.

Virginia-based navigators are available, at no charge, to help consumers shop for and enroll in health care coverage. Visit coverva.org/en/find-help-in-your-area for local help. 

For additional information about shopping for health insurance, visit the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance website at Shopping for Health Insurance in Virginia. To learn more about the Special Enrollment Period, visit the SCC’s Health Benefit Exchange website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Details-for-Consumers.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – April is National Safe Digging Month, and the State Corporation Commission’s Division of Utility and Railroad Safety (URS) reminds all Virginians to Dig with C.A.R.E. to help keep Virginia’s underground utility infrastructure damage-free and our communities, business districts and environment safe.

Dig with C.A.R.E. is a message for safe digging practices throughout the Commonwealth and its steps are summarized below:

Contact VA811 before you dig.

Allow the required time for marking the utilities.

Respect and protect the marks.

Excavate carefully.

Whether you’re a professional contractor, Do-It-Yourselfer or homeowner, you have an important role in preventing damage to underground utilities. No matter how big or small your project is, contacting VA811 to request the marking of underground utility lines before you dig will help avoid physical injury, property damage, as well as costly utility infrastructure repairs and related service interruptions.

Contact VA811 by going online at va811.com. You may also call 811 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding legal state and national holidays. (Emergency notification service is available 24/7, 365 days a year.)

For more information about safe digging and excavation, contact URS at 804-371-9980 or visit the Damage Prevention page.


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Contact: Ford Carson, 804-371-9141

 

RICHMOND – For Virginians enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP), the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages residents to understand the potential benefits of opening a health savings account (HSA).

Similar to a flexible spending account (FSA), an HSA allows you (or your employer) to set aside money annually on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses upon enrollment in an eligible HDHP. The funds in an HSA also may be used to pay deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and other qualified health-related expenses other than premiums. Currently, consumers can contribute annually a maximum of $3,600 (individuals) or $7,200 (families) into an HSA.

HSAs are designed specifically to use with HDHPs and can be helpful since HDHPs often have both higher annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum limits than other types of health plans. Consumers should understand, however, that HSAs are not available for all HDHPs – which must meet minimum deductible amounts and annual out-of-pocket limits to qualify for use with an HSA. For 2021, an HDHP that qualifies for an HSA must have a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. Additionally, consumers should understand that HSAs have maximum limits on annual payments. Currently, HSAs limit yearly out-of-pocket expenses (including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance) to $7,000 for an individual and $14,000 for a family for in-network services.

“HSAs may offer individuals more control over their healthcare dollars and an opportunity to lower their healthcare costs by providing an incentive for them to become more cost-conscious when utilizing medical services,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “HSAs allow individuals to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. However, it’s important to understand exactly how they work,” he said.

If you are considering an HSA, the Bureau encourages you to keep several important things in mind.  First, HSAs are used only with high-deductible plans – and not all high-deductible plans are eligible for HSAs. Check with your health insurer to determine eligibility. Additionally, if shopping for insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, check to see if a high-deductible plan is HSA-eligible.

Second, health savings accounts (unlike FSAs) are owned individually. This means that, if you change jobs or insurance plans, your funds remain in your HSA. Unspent money in an HSA rolls over from one year to the next, so it can be used for future medical expenses. Additionally, if you enroll later in a health plan that is not HSA-eligible, you will not be able to make additional contributions to your HSA; however, any existing funds in your HSA can be used for qualified medical expenses. 

Third, since you own the funds in an HSA, you may withdraw money from your HSA for items other than qualified medical expenses. Consumers, however, should be aware that such withdrawals are subject to income taxation, as well as an additional 20 percent penalty tax if you are under 65 years old.

Fourth, although an HSA looks similar to an FSA, they are not the same. FSAs also allow individuals to contribute pre-tax money for qualified medical expenses, but are owned by the employer, are not as flexible as an HSA, and have smaller annual contribution limits ($2,750 in 2021). Additionally, account funds in an FSA must be used within a single year or grace period.

Finally, the Bureau encourages consumers to keep a record of healthcare transactions, including receipts for medical expenses paid with HSA funds. These receipts may help establish that your withdrawals were used for qualified medical expenses.

For questions about HDHPs used with HSAs, contact your insurance company or agent or the Bureau’s Life and Health Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9691. For consumer guides and other information about a variety of insurance-related topics, visit the Bureau’s website at www.scc.virginia.gov/pages/insurance

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – As the new year continues to unfold, Virginians should remain wary of scammers who may prey on investor fear and anxiety to sell fraudulent investments amid changes in financial markets and the economy due to COVID-19.

Fraudulent online investment offers involving precious metals, cryptocurrencies, promissory notes and foreign exchange markets are among the top threats facing investors this year, according to a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which is an organization composed of state securities regulators that includes the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The survey is based on responses from enforcement officials with state and provincial securities regulators throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The top threat to investors, according to the survey, is fraudulent internet or social media-based investment offers. Next on the list are fraudulent investments related to cryptocurrency and precious metals, especially those purchased through self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The third most common threat is fraudulent foreign exchange-related schemes.

This year also may see a resurgence of high-yield foreign exchange and cryptocurrency-related schemes disguised as membership or investment programs. Scammers may attempt to lure investors into these programs by promising high rates of return as a way to supplement income lost due to the pandemic.

“Bad actors continue to follow the headlines in an attempt to separate investors from their money,” said Ron Thomas, director of the SCC’s Division of Securities and Retail Franchising (Division). “Not every precious metals, cryptocurrency or foreign exchange-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to consider these products with caution,” he said.

Thomas urges Virginians to be wary of investment offers that sound too good to be true. The most common sign of an investment scam is an offer that guarantees high rates of return with little or no risk. “All investments carry the risk that some, or all, of the invested funds could be lost,” he said.

Before making any investment decision, Thomas encourages Virginians to do the following:

  • Ask questions and make sure you understand the investment product. Ask for details about the investment offer in writing.
  • Ask if the salesperson and the investment itself are properly licensed or registered. To confirm this, investors can call the Division in Richmond at 804-371-9051 or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945.
  • Avoid high-pressure sales tactics and “can’t miss” opportunities promising guaranteed returns or big returns with little or no risk.
  • Understand the warning signs of investment fraud.

For more information, visit the Division’s website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Consumer-Investments or the North American Securities Administrators Association’s website at https://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/fraud-center/top-investor-threats/.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is offering time for members of the public to give oral comments by telephone on a request by Appalachian Power Company (APCo) to increase a rate adjustment clause that covers transmission costs.

Appalachian Power is proposing to increase its Transmission Rate Adjustment Clause (T-RAC) from $225.1 million to $337.7 million, an increase of $112.6 million effective in July 2021. For the average residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, this request represents an increase of $11.52 per month.

Through the T-RAC, APCo collects its costs for new and existing transmission facilities and related services that APCo receives from a regional transmission organization called PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. The rates PJM charges APCo and its other members are set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. APCo collects these charges from customers as part of the cost of providing electric service.

The SCC has scheduled a public witness session to begin at 10 a.m. on April 26, 2021, to consider the T-RAC application. Public witnesses intending to provide oral testimony must pre-register with the SCC by 5 p.m. on April 21, 2021. Witnesses will be called by SCC staff on April 26 in the order in which they registered. Testimony will be limited to five minutes per caller. The hearing will be webcast at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting.

Public witnesses wishing to provide oral testimony may pre-register in one of three ways:

  • Completing a public witness form for case number PUR-2021-00018 on the SCC’s website at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting
  • E-mailing the same form (PDF version on the same website as above) to SCCInfo@scc.virginia.gov
  • Calling the SCC at 804-371-9141 during normal business hours (8:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and providing their name and the phone number you wish the Commission to call to reach you during the hearing.

A public evidentiary hearing will follow the public witness hearing either in the SCC’s second floor courtroom in the Tyler Building at 1300 East Main Street in Richmond or by electronic means to receive testimony and evidence from the company, any respondents, and the SCC staff.

For those who prefer, there is also an opportunity to provide comments in writing on the T‑RAC application. Written comments may be submitted through the SCC’s website by April 19, 2021, at scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Simply go to the SCC website, select "Cases" and then "Submit Public Comments," and scroll down to case number PUR-2021-00018. Then click SUBMIT COMMENTS.

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Case Number PUR-2021-00018 – Application of Appalachian Power Company for approval of a rate adjustment clause T-RAC

Contact: Andy Farmer, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – Tornadoes, wind, hailstorms, flash floods, lightning and hurricanes. These are among the severe weather events that can accompany spring. No matter what the season, unpredictable weather patterns and intense weather activity are becoming increasingly common in Virginia and in many other regions.

As spring begins in less than two weeks – on March 20 – the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) encourages Virginians to plan now for potentially extreme spring weather. “Know your risk and protect yourself financially by reviewing your insurance and updating your coverage in the event you experience property damage due to unexpected severe weather events,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “If you have questions, contact your insurance agent or company or the Bureau of Insurance.”

The Bureau encourages Virginians to plan for severe weather before it occurs by considering the following:

  • Understand what your insurance policy does and does not cover, as well as any deductibles you may have to pay when filing a claim.
     
  • Create a detailed inventory of your belongings, including serial numbers, photos, videos and receipts. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) free smartphone app – myHOME Scr.APP.book – can facilitate this process. Keep electronic copies of your homeowners, auto and other insurance policies with your home inventory and, if possible, store paper files in a safe, fireproof and waterproof place. Take these documents with you if you must evacuate the premises. These records will contain your policy numbers and the phone numbers of your insurance companies in case you have questions or need to file a claim.
     
  • Keep in mind that homeowners and renters insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not cover damage resulting from floods, surface water or storm surges. The federal government, however, does sell insurance for direct flood and flood-related damage to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There is typically a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. To learn more, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1-888-379-9531 or visit fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

    The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will host a #FloodAwareChat on Twitter on March 16 from noon to 1 p.m. The chat will explore flood risk and flood insurance and include a Q&A session. It is one of several activities the DCR is hosting in conjunction with Virginia Flood Awareness Week March 14-20, 2021. To learn more, visit dcr.virginia.gov/floodawarenessweek/.
     
  • Take steps now to reduce the possibility of weather-related damage later. Assess your risk and, if needed, clear your yard and gutters of debris; trim dead or overhanging tree branches surrounding your home; reinforce your roof; install impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters; install floor vents in foundation walls; raise mechanical and electrical systems inside and out such as furnaces, electrical panels, water heaters and HVAC systems; install a backflow valve in your sewer system; waterproof exterior walls and basements, and direct storm water away from your home.

The Bureau also encourages Virginians to know what to do if their property is damaged during a severe weather event. These steps include contacting your insurance agent or company as soon as possible; making any necessary emergency repairs; taking reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property, and recording all damage to your property with photographs, notes and repair-related receipts.

The Bureau offers free consumer guides for homeowners and commercial property owners with information about what to do when a disaster strikes. These and many other consumer insurance guides are available on the Bureau’s website at Virginia SCC - Insurance. The Bureau’s specially trained staff can assist consumers with their insurance-related questions and concerns. To learn more, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9185.

For additional emergency preparedness information relating to all types of disasters and hazards, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at vaemergency.gov.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

RICHMOND – Powerful smartphones, countless apps, and online finance options have made investing more convenient than ever. With the click of a mouse or press of a button, Virginians can check investment account balances, buy investment products and services and much more while on-the-go. These conveniences have, unfortunately, given scammers new ways to separate investors from their money. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) encourages all Virginians to treat internet security seriously when they invest using online resources.

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) recently issued an investor awareness advisory to help investors better understand the potential threats to their online financial accounts and how to protect themselves from cybercriminals. The advisory addresses several threats that investors should be aware of, including:

  • Data breaches, including incidents that may expose confidential or protected information, as well as the possible loss or theft of private data that can be used to steal consumers’ identities and assets.
  • Phishing scams, which involve scammers using fraudulent emails, text messages, or phone calls to impersonate legitimate people and entities to trick consumers into giving out personal information.
  • Skimming, which involves the use of technology fraudulently installed into a debit or credit card reader to obtain personal PIN numbers and other account-holder information.
  • Public Wi-Fi scam, which involves the potential loss of personal financial information when using public Wi-Fi networks to shop online or access personal information.

The SCC’s Division of Securities and Retail Franchising (Division) offers a full list of resources that investors may use to keep themselves safe online. Before making any investment decisions, ask questions, do your homework and contact the Division at 804-371-9051 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945. For more information, visit the Division’s website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Consumer-Investments or the North American Securities Administrators Association’s website at nasaa.org..

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Contact: Ford Carson, 804-371-9141

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