On January 27, 2012, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Investor Alert warning investors of fraudsters compromising investor email accounts to send trading instructions as a way to commit fraud. According to FINRA, fraudsters will use the email account to gain access to information that they can then use to request wire transfers to overseas accounts. Because this form of fraud can be committed by stock brokers and traders, stock broker fraud attorneys are encouraging defrauded investors to come forward with potential claims.
In some cases, firms failed to verify the instructions via telephone but released the funds anyway. This violation in procedure may entitle defrauded investors to a recovery of losses through securities arbitration. According to the SEC, four brokerage firms have been charged for allowing traders to trade in the U.S. securities market, despite the fact that they were unregistered. In the same case, Igors Nagaicevs, a trader, was charged with making $874,896 through unauthorized purchases and sales. He also broke into accounts 159 times from 2009 to August 2010. According to the SEC, he cost investors possibly over $2 million.
“Nagaicevs engaged in a brazen and systematic securities fraud, repeatedly raiding brokerage accounts and causing massive damages to innocent investors,” says the director of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office, Marc J. Fagel.
According to the FBI’s figures, this type of financial fraud totals around $23 million, with actual victim losses amounting to about $6 million.
If investors notice any signs that their account has been compromised, such as bounced email messages, unexplained password changes, reports of spam, or unauthorized transactions on their investment accounts, they should contact an investment attorney immediately. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, find out more about your legal rights and options by contacting an investment attorney at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.