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Consumer Tips

Catching a Cold Caller

It happens to all of us…you're just sitting down to dinner or relaxing with family and the phone rings. On the other line is a cold caller with an investment offer you can't refuse. Whether the calls are annoying, abusive, or downright crooked, you can stop cold callers. Dishonest brokers may pressure you to buy a bad investment. Or the investment might be a scam. The law protects you by requiring cold callers to follow several rules.

  1. Calls must be from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  2. Cold callers must promptly tell you their name, their firm's name, and if the purpose of the call is to sell you an investment.

  3. Callers must add you to their "do not call" list if you ask them.

  4. Cold callers can't threaten, intimidate, or use obscene or profane language. They can't call you repeatedly to annoy, abuse, or harass you.

  5. If you decide to buy from a cold caller, do not give your credit union or bank account information to the broker over the phone. Legally, they must get your written per mission before they can take money from your savings or checking account.

Don't let violators off the hook! To complain about abusive cold callers, write down the name of the caller, the name of the firm, the date and time of the call or calls, what the caller said to you, and what you said to the caller. You can send your complaint to

Ohio Division of Securities
77 South High Street
22nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
or call (614) 644-7381.

If you're fed up with phone calls, visit the
Federal Do Not Call List web site.

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