A Broker scam involves a scammer associating with you unsolicited and claiming to be a ‘financial broker’ or ‘investment advisory.’ They ensure you will earn a hefty profit through their guidance only by providing access to your brokerage account. Scammers have also adopted this practice by creating fraudulent websites that look identical or official to legitimate investment organizations.
This fraudulent website offers investors and traders substantial opportunities to be an early bird on low-risk or no-risk factors for investing or trade that assures significant returns of annualized rates. Also, scammers often use a high-pressure technique to persuade victims to give money without consuming excessive time.
Moreover, in various types of Broker scams, a fraudster may send an email to the victim with a forged email account stating how profitable their previous client’s portfolio is till date. They may also use a technique by allowing the victim to withdraw a portion of the amount from the account to prove the legitimacy of the broker. However, scammers assure the victim’s whereabouts and the advantages they will acquire while investing under their guidance by only providing a handful amount as a brokerage or sign-up fee to their program. Further, when a person signs up for this fraudulent scheme by providing a particular fee, the scammer escapes with the money while cutting off the victim from all the mediums obtained during the fraud. Broker scams are an active threat to the financial industry, and with every fraudster that drowns, a new scammer seems to pop up.
Red Flags of Broker/Brokerage scams –
- A person claiming to be a broker that sends unsolicited emails or connects through DMs on social media out of nowhere is a part of a broker scam.
- Scammers contacting and claiming to be a part of a legitimate or regulatory exchange or platform via unknown and unethical means of communication are generally fraudsters.
- A person contacting you out of the blue and claiming to be a ‘broker’ or ‘investment advisory’ without any accurate portfolio or identification online can be a red flag.
- Beware if someone provides a promotional offer where you get to sign up for a lower amount or for free by giving out sensitive information.
- Scammers offering to deposit large amounts to acquire large bonuses is a sham and a part of the fraudulent method used by them.
- A broker pressuring to invest or trade assets immediately without looking at the market movements that could downshift quickly is a red flag activity performed by a scammer.
- A could-be broker demanding ‘a fee,’ ‘tax,’ or ‘commission’ to withdraw your gains can be a scam. It is illegal to halt a person from persuading their belongings.
- Scammers claiming to be brokers refrain from adding funds to the victim’s account; instead, they demand to create an account with regulatory exchanges and give access to them; beware of these scammers as they may run away with the investments.
- Prior ask where they obtained the contact details, and the scammer resists and gives dubious reasons unrelated to you.
- A legitimate broker will never acquire your account access on their device, but if the broker that you have chosen asks for it, then it can be considered an unregulated broker scam.
How to avoid Broker Scams?
- Refrain from sharing your personal and financial information via unsolicited phone calls, SMS, email, or via social media sites with an undetermined person. However, the person is claiming to be a familiar or long-lost relative.
- If a would-be broker calls you out of nowhere and talks gibberish, hang up the call. Scammers use this technique, known as a robocall system, to verify the number is active and generate sensitive information by connecting for a specific period.
- If you receive any mail acquiring errors grammatically or alphabetically, avoid acknowledging and blocking the respective mail from your account so that scammers cannot gain any further access.
- Refrain from sharing your brokerage account details with a would-be broker, as it is not significant to acquire or hand over the accounts details for performing activities.
- If you receive an unknown call that is being automated or an indication of pre-recording, hang up on it immediately, it may extract your sensitive details with the use of modernized technology.
- Research about the broker online to see if they have a legitimate portfolio and experience in the industry; if not, avoid associating with them further.
How to protect yourself from a Broker scam?
- Beware of the services offered by the could-be broker are legitimate, and there is no backlash to it.
- Search for the broker or the brokerage firm they refer to by adding their name +scam and wait for the results; if it shows any results that conclude fraudulent activities, beware and abide by preventive measures.
- Check about the fees and taxes of legitimate brokers priorly by connecting with other officials or online; if the offer does not match the standardized system, refrain from the following source.
- Be cautious of the could-be brokers that claim to acquire hefty gains in a short span. Protect yourself from this scheme because every market requires time and knowledge to understand and gain a certain amount of profit.
- If a broker does not acknowledge the typical market strategies for investing or trading according to the previous and current price movements and demands to lay off assets when it is at their lowest, refrain yourself from their guidance, as it may turn out to be a broker scam.
Broker scams have been extensively huge lately. In this scam, the fraudsters mainly target the novice or beginners new to the investing or trading industry. They approach the victim through phone calls, emails, SMS, or through social media claiming to be the experts. However, if you want to obtain a head start, associate with certified and verified brokers and their organizations, as they provide strategic solutions and help you gain profit concurrently. Receiving help from a professional is significant, but blindly trusting anyone could be harmful to you and your personal and financial particulars.