Investment or brokerage fraud is usually the result of an advisor, a stockbroker or even the brokerage firm in question offering advice to a client that goes directly against the guidelines laid out by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Will you know if you have been scammed? Not necessarily, however there are some things for you to be on the lookout for when dealing with brokerage firms, etc.
A word of advice to older Americans who have sizable savings accounts and are looking for places to invest – avoid deals that look too good to be true. Many unscrupulous investment brokers looking to pull a fast one on their clients will target seniors, as they have a tendency to be more trusting. It’s usually best if you do your investing directly with trusted banks and stay away from online trading schemes as well.
In you’re considering making an investment, then make it a point to hire a lawyer to read the fine print in the brokerage contracts. That is where fraudulent companies and brokers tuck the securities fraud attorney tricky legalese away, hoping you won’t understand what you are reading. Once that contract is signed it’s hard to do anything about it. So before you invest, consult with a highly skilled investment fraud attorney who has seen just about everything and knows what a genuine contract should say.
Generally speaking, the most common investment fraud scheme centers on Prime Bank Instruments. This is where the scammer throws around the names of some of the world’s most well known banks to get you to invest your money. Here is how that scheme works: you will be told your money is pooled with other investors and you will likely get good returns to start with so that you invest more. The returns are really funds from other victims. This scheme usually folds quickly, leaving you holding an empty bag of money.
For this reason alone — the chances of brokerage investment fraud — take the time to thoroughly investigate any company in which you are considering investing. While this may seem like a pain, it will be worth it in the long run if you not only get to keep your initial investment, but also get a good rate of return on it legitimately.