The proliferation of energy investment opportunities in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in energy investment scams, according to the Idaho Department of Finance.
The department issued a statement Tuesday cautioning Idaho residents to be be wary of invitations to invest in energy projects such as wind turbines, solar panels, biodiesel, ethanol, coal, oil, gas, hydrogen, wave, geothermal, oil sands and liquified natural gas.
"Many of these investments are highly risky and illiquid and therefore not appropriate for many investors," said Gavin Gee, department director. "It is not unusual for unscrupulous promoters to use the lure of current events or innovative technologies to take advantage of unsuspecting investors by engaging in fraudulent practices."
Common energy investments include commodities, exchange traded funds, stocks and bonds and joint ventures.
Some promoters prey on people's fondness for green energy, Gee said. In some cases, promoters operating "green energy" investments may be operating a fraudulent shell company that doesn't produce anything.