I put my money into an investment, but I get the feeling something fishy is going on. What am I actually looking for on my account statements if I suspect investment misconduct or fraud?
When you start looking into the best ways to protect against investment fraud and stockbroker misconduct, one of the first things anyone will tell you is to always carefully review your brokerage account statements when they come in the mail. In fact, FINRA recently released an Investor Alert specifically urging investors to take the time to review their account statements.
Do You Know What to Look for on Your Account Statement?
Although it seems like common sense to look at your account statements, it can be difficult to know what you should be looking for each month. As you go over account statements, look for:
- Unknown or excessively high fees
- Unusually positive performance
- Any unauthorized or inaccurate account activity
- Missing statement period dates or irregular statement periods
- Assets that do not match your risk tolerance
- Records of income that has not been deposited
You should also review your account statement to be sure your name, address, and account number are correct and up to date. Also watch out for statements that appear to be altered.
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If you see something that doesn’t look right, make sure you follow up on it and ask questions. Fraudsters depend on investors not paying careful attention to their statements or assuming that any discrepancies will be taken care of automatically by the firm. Researching investments before you hand over your money is important, but it’s just as important to continue to monitor your account activity closely. If you have been the victim of a Ponzi scheme or other investment fraud, contact an experienced securities attorney today for a free and confidential consultation.
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