Understanding Securities Fraud
Investments always carry an element of risk, but when agents misrepresent those risks by overpromising results or providing false information, they are committing securities fraud. Likewise, if someone buys or sells stocks, bonds, or other securities without proper licensure, they too are committing securities fraud. In either case, they are subjecting your money—and your future—to undue risk and can face criminal and civil consequences.
Contact the securities fraud attorneys at Oakes & Fosher if you suspect you are a victim of stock broker fraud. We can help protect your future from fraud and recover your losses related to fraudulent practices.
Stockbroker Fraud in Illinois
Stockbrokers handle securities—investments in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, equity shares, and more.
It should always be a cause for concern when a broker guarantees a return on an investment. No qualified dealer or broker will promise specific results; nor will they provide investors with misleading information to either encourage or discourage an investment.
In order to become a stockbroker in Illinois, also called a “brokerage salesperson,” agents must pass a formal examination process and register with the Illinois Securities Department. They must also register with the national regulatory agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and a self-regulatory organization (SRO) that is recognized by the SEC. Stockbrokers must remain compliant with certain state and federal regulations and complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their licensure. Buying or selling securities without proper qualifications is considered to be fraud.
If you suspect your investments have been handled improperly, Oakes & Fosher can help. Oakes & Fosher has a long history of successful arbitration in securities fraud, and we can make sure your hard-earned retirement or pension funds are not at risk.
What to Do if You are a Victim of Securities Fraud
Your investments are worth protecting from fraud. If you suspect you that you or a loved one has been the victim of securities fraud, contact Oakes & Fosher. Our experienced securities fraud lawyers understand the ins and outs of securities law and will not only empower you to know your rights, but will help you to recover some, if not all, of your lost investments.
By considering fraud arbitration using an experienced, qualified securities fraud attorney, you’ll be doing all you can to protect your assets for yourself and for future generations.
Illinois Securities Fraud Protection Resources
Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department – This department regulates the Illinois security industry and protects investors by ensuring and enforcing compliance with state laws. When they investigate a case of stock broker fraud, their findings can often be used as evidence in a civil action.
SEC – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is the federal regulatory agency tasked with protecting investors against securities fraud. This site will give you an overview of federal laws that regulate investments and trade.
Securities Search – This search is provided by the Illinois Secretary of State. It is the first step in determining if a broker or representative is registered to buy or sell securities in Illinois.
FINRA – Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides an online BrokerCheck, which will give you an overview of a broker’s employment history and any regulatory actions taken against them, including FINRA arbitration and complaints.
IAPD – Sponsored by the SEC, the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) site allows you to review their most currently filed registration and reporting form; check a financial advisor’s disciplinary and/or arbitration background; and determine which regulatory agency oversees their transactions.
Fraud Prevention Tips
Many people fall victim to securities fraud, including the elderly. You may be surprised to learn that college-educated and financially savvy people are among the most frequently fooled by fraudulent or misleading investment claims. The best way to avoid being a victim of securities fraud is to understand the tactics fraudsters use. Avoid these common ploys, and report them if they have been used on you or someone you love.
High Pressure/Scarcity: Consider persuasion tactics to “act fast or lose the opportunity” as red flags. Although some investment opportunities are time-sensitive, this is an all-too-common ploy.
Phantom Riches: Fraudsters know that we all want what we can’t have. The Phantom Riches tactic involves dangling big financial carrots, such as significant guaranteed income, to entice people to invest.
Source Credibility: This involves a broker using a real or contrived association with a reputable firm or corporation in an attempt to establish legitimacy.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you have conducted investment transactions in Illinois and are concerned your broker or a brokerage firm did not work in your best interest, it is time to take action. Contact the experienced attorneys at Oakes & Fosher today to discuss your case.