Stockbrokers and investment advisors are trusted financial professionals. However, as they say, there is a bad apple in every barrel. And if you’ve been watching the news over recent months, the finance industry certainly has its share of bad apples when it comes to investment and securities fraud. But how can you tell if your broker is one of them? What may be some warning signs?
Brokers who engage in fraud or other types of illegal activity with client accounts need to shelter their communications with clients from the firm. One warning sign that a broker may be engaging in investment fraud is that the broker communicates with you through their personal email account about your investments or other potential investments, and not through an email account that is supervised by their employer
In most instances, brokers are required to use their email associated with the firm. Similarly, many firms prohibit brokers from texting with their clients, as it can be more difficult for a firm to police those private text communications. Communications with customers are also frequently reviewed by FINRA and other regulators. Thus, for brokers interested in selling products to clients outside of the firm’s offerings (selling away) or, even worse, trying to commit fraud against a client, using a work email only risks the broker’s misconduct is discovered by their firm.
At the end of the day, not every broker who uses their personal email is doing so to commit fraud. However, the use of an unsupervised personal email address when communicating with a client is just one red flag—there may be others. If you communicate with your broker through personal channels and not employer-associated channels, ask yourself “why”. If you suspect your broker is not playing by the rules you should reach out to an experienced Texas securities fraud lawyer for immediate assistance.
Do You Suspect Your Broker Isn’t Above Board?
If you recently suffered investment losses and have reason to suspect that your broker is engaging in fraud or otherwise not living up to the duty they owe to you, reach out to the Forman Law Firm, P.C. At the Forman Law Firm, we don’t position ourselves to handle every type of case because we focus exclusively on investment and securities fraud. Bryan Forman is a Texas securities fraud lawyer who has been handling complex investment fraud cases for more than 30 years. He has the knowledge and skill needed to determine exactly what happened with your account and who can be held responsible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, reach out to the Forman Law Firm, P.C. at 512-306-8188 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.