How to Know You’re a Victim of Securities Fraud

securities fraud

Investments in the stock market can change so dramatically that it can be difficult to notice when something is amiss. Fluctuations can happen naturally, but there may come a time when you start to wonder if your broker is not doing right by you. You might notice significant losses, or a few things that don’t make sense. Some of these signs below may also indicate that you might be a victim of securities fraud. 

You’re Losing Money

There are many different types of security fraud, such as broker misconduct and equity-indexed annuities. You may not understand how they work, but one thing you may know is that you’re losing money. 

There is an element of risk in investing, and losing money goes hand-in-hand with earning. However, when you’re losing significant sums of money in an ‘up’ market, this can be an alarm bell. You may be a victim of securities fraud, and now might be the right time to look into it. 

You Can’t Contact Your Broker

Investment brokers are there to make your investment journey more straightforward. They help you buy and sell securities like stocks and act as a boon for buyers and sellers. When you want to make a decision or change, you should be able to access them via email, phone, or other means with ease.

While contact delays aren’t always a red flag, they can be if you aren’t able to contact your broker no matter how many avenues you try. If they do answer your call, they may not have the answers to your questions or use delay tactics. 

Your Statements Don’t Make Sense

Even if you’re a beginner investor, you may be able to tell when transactions and statements aren’t stacking up. You might see that certain transactions on your statements don’t make sense, or that they include transactions you didn’t authorize. You might even spot monthly debits or credits you can’t identify. 

Whether you’re fully certain or not, it’s at this point you may decide to investigate what your investment broker has been doing with your money. 

Your Results Don’t Stack Up

Many people make their investment decisions based on what’s happening in the news. Particular stocks may be thriving, and some are nearly a sure thing. 

However, if you’ve invested in what you believe is a sure thing, but your financial results are much different, it may not be a coincidence. Victims of fraud often see remarkably different financial results and significant losses compared to other people investing in the same markets

Your Broker Does What They Want

Whether they see you as an easy victim or they’ve simply become skilled in securities fraud, you may notice that your broker seems to carve their own path. They may make high-risk trades on your behalf and might even look into speculative investments without you even requesting them. 

Some brokers may also fail to tell you about investment purchases or opportunities and may take the lead in investing on your behalf without discussing it with you first. 

Investment brokers can make your investment journey much easier, but not all brokers are reputable. You may be a victim of securities fraud if you resonate with any of these points above.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.