As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is reaching out to advisors, investors and others on ways to protect the financial health of those who have experienced fraud.
“The toll of financial fraud may extend well beyond lost money,” FINRA said in a statement.
Nearly two-thirds of fraud victims experience at least one “severe emotional consequence — including stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression,” according to a study supported by the FINRA Foundation.
The regulatory group points out that, unfortunately, victims of investment fraud are more likely to be re-targeted for different types of malfeasance. All investors can benefit from reading the section of FINRA’s website on avoiding fraud, the group says.
Fraud victims can help themselves “reclaim power from the fraudsters” by following these six steps.
1. Create an investment fraud file.
Collect all relevant documents concerning fraud in a file and store it in a secure location. The file could include the perpetrator’s name, mail and email addresses, phone numbers, website addresses, regulatory registration numbers, a timeline of events, police reports, call notes and recent credit report from all three credit reporting companies.
2. Know your rights.
Federal and state laws aim to protect fraud victims; the Department of Justice has information on victim rights and financial fraud, including a brochure, What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Crime. To get details on what states do, visit www.naag.org.