If you’re worried that you’re being taken advantage of by your investment professional, you should ensure that you’re doing everything possible to protect yourself. It starts by recognizing the signs of fraud. With that in mind, be on the lookout for the following signs that you’re being cheated:
- Promises of large returns: The investment market is unpredictable and often volatile. As such, a broker or other investment professional shouldn’t promise you any sort of return, let alone a large return. If your advisor has promised you something that sounds too good to be true, you should be suspicious.
- Unrealistic risk expectations: As mentioned above, there’s always risk in the market. If your professional downplays or outright denies those risks, that should raise red flags for you.
- Poor communication: If you struggle to get ahold of your broker or advisor to get answers to pressing questions, they may be avoiding you for a reason. Under these circumstances, the broker is typically trying to hide something from you.
- Lots of pressure: A lot of fraudsters use pressure as a way to latch onto investors. If you feel like your investment professional is forcing your hand to get you to buy into certain securities, you might want to pump the brakes and learn more before you take the plunge.
But even if you recognize some of these signs of potential fraud, what are you supposed to do if you suspect that you’ve already been cheated out of your hard-earned money?
Building your fraud case
The key is to start gathering evidence as soon as possible. But what evidence is going to be key to your case? You may want to start by seeking out the following:
- Communications: Text messages, emails and phone logs can demonstrate the amount of contact you’ve had with your broker. They may also demonstrate how the broker or investment professional was trying to keep you in the dark or how they were otherwise operating in violation of the law. Make sure that you gather and retain these records so that you can utilize them in your case.
- Sales materials: If you received any marketing materials before buying into your investment, you should be sure to keep those materials. They may demonstrate how your professional duped you into a risky or even nonexistent investment.
- Witness accounts: If you know someone else who has worked with the broker in question, you should talk to that person to learn more about their experience. You may find that the fraud is more widespread than you expected, and it might give insight into other actions taken by the broker that indicate illegal action.
Keep in mind that there are other ways to gather evidence. For example, you can subpoena records from the investment firm to get a better idea of where the money has gone and whether it was mismanaged in some fashion. So, make sure that you’re discussing with your attorney how best to pursue your case.
Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of
Far too many people harmed by investment fraud simply cut their losses and move on. Don’t do that. You deserve answers to your lingering questions and justice for the wrong that you have experienced. That’s why assertive attorneys are here to help you fight for a fair and just outcome.