With the end of 2013 approaching, the Digital Journal is hosting a press release reminding investors that as they review year-end investments and performances, certain red flags may appear that are easier to spot at this time of year.
Former FINRA associate, and current PIABA member, Debra Speyer of Philadelphia points out four schemes or cons whose tell tale signs lie in monthly or yearly documents (or lack thereof). They are:
1) Beware above average returns—or rather the promise of above average return. A scheming broker or con artist may have misrepresented or omitted important information if at years end, that "guaranteed, no-risk" 10% return has turned flat or worse, red.
2) Registered persons should never sell unregistered investments or, more accurately, investors should avoid purchasing unregistered securities. The SEC's EDGAR database, a free and public service is a good start.
3) Expect regular statements. If a broker stalls or otherwise fails or attempts to evade the obligation to provide account statements, that is a red flag and should be addressed with a phone call to the employing firm, FINRA or SEC. Prospectus or Private Placement Memorandum ("PPM") documents will generally advise how often you may expect to receive statements. Undue delays are rarely acceptable.
4) If you try to withdraw funds or get your money back and excuses are the only response, a nefarious scheme may be at work. Investors generally have a right to a return of funds within prospectus guidelines. A broker who appears to be violating these terms or firm/industry rules may be rogue.
If you have invested with a broker, financial adviser or firm whose misleading recommendations, failure to follow investment objectives such as executing a conservative investment profile or unauthorized trading has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.
News: The Secrets of Holiday Con Artists (Digital Journal/Marketwired)