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What to Do If You Suspect Investment Fraud

Investment fraud scams can wipe out decades of savings in a very short period of time. Many fraudsters target multiple people, and then attempt to sneak away with their spoils in the night. In order to prevent this from happening, it’s important to know the most common red flags and what to do if you suspect investment fraud. With that knowledge, you can act fast at the first signs and stop the fraud in its tracks.

Signs of Investment Fraud

Investment fraud almost always starts with big promises of high returns in a short period of time – and promises of with very little risk. Unfortunately, the real world simply doesn’t work like that, or everyone would be wealthy. So, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

Beyond that, other major signs of investment fraud include:

  • Aggressive sales tactics

  • Attempts to trigger FOMO (fear of missing out)

  • Guaranteed or very high rates returns

  • Lack of documentation

  • Unregistered securities

As the fraudulent activities continue, you’ll undoubtedly see discrepancies in your account, including missing funds.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Investment Fraud

Upon noticing any signs of investment fraud, act fast to stop the losses by following these steps.

Collect Info About the Fraud

Before you can report the investment fraud, you need to collect evidence to present to the authorities, or court, such as:

  • Fraudsters’ name, title, and regulator registration numbers

  • Phone number, address, email, and other contact info for the fraudster

  • Copies of all written communication, including emails, text messages, envelopes with addresses

  • Statements for the affected investments and/or bank accounts

  • Receipts for all associated deposits and payments

  • Any other evidence that helps prove that fraud occurred

Speak with a Lawyer About Your Rights

As a victim of investment fraud, you have rights at the state and federal levels. To best understand all your rights, get in touch with a skilled investment fraud lawyer to discuss your case. They will help you explore the rights given to you at every level plus explain the process of recouping your losses in court.

Report the Investment Fraud

Upon creating your “fraud file” and learning about your rights, it’s time to report the investment fraud to law enforcement and regulatory agencies. You’ll want to file a report with as many agencies as possible to have the best chance at stopping the fraud fast. It is important to consider when to report the fraud to the authorities, as it may impact your ability to recover your lost investment in court. Again, speak with a lawyer before you make any critical decisions about how to proceed. 

Law Enforcement

Start by filing a report with your local police department, and then send the information over to the district or state attorney for your area. You can also submit a tip to the FBI to get even more eyes on the problem.

Regulatory Agencies

After submitting your claims to law enforcement, contact the regulatory agencies at the state and federal level, including:

Report to any and all agencies that apply, so the fraudsters get investigated as soon as possible.

Federal Trade Commission

Report the fraudulent behavior to the Federal Trade Commission as well to help protect your community from the scams. Let them know who you’ve already reported the fraud to, and they’ll send the info to any other regulatory agencies that can help.

Once you’re done reporting the investment fraud, you’ll need to wait for the results of their investigations. You can follow up with the agencies in 30 to 60 days to see what, if any, actions they’re taking and learn about the next steps.

Recoup Your Losses

With help from an experienced investment fraud lawyer, it’s possible to recoup your losses through your local court system. Your lawyer will need to use your “fraud file” to better understand the situation and start building evidence against the fraudsters.

As law enforcement and regulatory agencies complete their own investigations, their findings can help strengthen your case. Using that information, your lawyer can file a civil suit on your behalf, and then work on getting you a judgment that restores your finances.

Suspect Investment Fraud? Contact Schwartz Law Today

If you suspect investment fraud, follow the steps above and get into contact with Schwartz Law right away. With a call to 813-226-3372, you can schedule a free consultation with our skilled investment fraud attorneys. At your consultation, we’ll learn all about the devastating situation you face and provide the advice you seek on how to move forward. We hope that our support helps you best decide how to proceed after investment fraud affects your finances and overall sense of wellbeing.

Matthew Schwartz

Matthew Schwartz is a Shareholder at Schwartz, P.A. where he serves as the practice group leader for their securities litigation and professional negligence practice group. His practice is focused on plaintiff-side securities arbitration and litigation, representing individual investors and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, investment advisors, commodities firms, hedge funds and others. He also represents plaintiffs who have been damaged by their insurance agents, lawyers, accountants and other professionals. He is an accomplished commercial litigator who has handled a variety of business disputes and other consumer claims.

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