SIPC urges all investors to understand the dangers of investment fraud.
Brokers are required to issue confirmations of transactions and account statements at appropriate intervals. You should always review these statements when they arrive. Verify that the confirmation and/or statements properly reflect all cash deposits and withdrawals. Check to see if the statements you receive accurately reflect your understanding of what cash and securities are in your account.
If you ever discover an error in a trade confirmation or brokerage statement, you should immediately bring the error to the attention of the brokerage firm in writing. Unless you complain in writing, your eligibility for SIPC protection may be compromised. If you do not receive a timely trade confirmation you should also bring this to the attention of the brokerage firm. Complaining in writing (letter, e-mail, etc.) is the only way to protect your interests.
Keep a copy of any writing you send to the brokerage firm. Remember, if your brokerage firm is in SIPC liquidation, you may have to prove that there is something wrong with the brokerage firm’s records of your account. If you have any questions about when or whether you should be receiving a confirmation or statement, contact FINRA, the SEC, or your state securities regulator.
Below are some resources on where to find help to avoid becoming a victim and what to do if you become one:
- The United States Securities and Exchange Commission
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
- Your State Securities Regulator
- North American Securities Administrators Association
- National Fraud Information Center
- Investor Protection Trust
- Alliance for Investor Education
- FBI/Secret Service Internet Fraud
- Federal Trade Commission
- U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission