For those who are just starting a financial-based job, your new career prospects are exciting, and the pay can be lucrative. However, many new to the finance industry may not know how easy it is to be accused of financial fraud, even if there you had no intention to defraud.
Most of us have a picture in our heads of identity thieves, but any time that you use another’s credentials, you could receive accusations of identity theft. Take, for example, the bank employees at Wells Fargo who were told to open new customer accounts. Are those employees guilty of identity theft? They utilized customer information to open new accounts that the customers did not request. Yet, they were told to by their bank bosses, so they may have assumed they received a customer request.
Let us look at financial jobs that work with or sell investments. If you sell an investment and omit key facts, even if unintentional, you could face investment fraud allegations. Of course, if you make false promises or like, charges may follow, but may not realize that accusations could be based on good faith beliefs or unintentional omissions. Of course, these may be defenses, but they do not, necessarily, stop the charge filings.
Mass marketing fraud
Even those who may not be in a financial services job could find themselves accused of financial fraud. One such example of this is mass marketing fraud. Mass marketing refers to when companies use mass media (mailings, robocalls, spam, etc.) to sell something, solicit donations, lotteries, etc. If your company then uses the information, they receive to steal customer identities or take money fraudulently, you, as an employee, could also be accused of fraud since you helped with the fraudulent scheme.
What does this all mean?
For our Evansville readers concerned about potential liability for not actually doing anything wrong, there are some key takeaways. First, research companies before you accept a job offer. Often, scam companies are new, without any history. Of course, not all start ups are fraudulent, but you should be leery of new companies. Second, if your employer or boss asks you to open an account in a customer’s name, make sure that the customer requested it. Direct confirmation should be utilized. Finally, if you suspect something is amiss, contacting an attorney is never a bad idea.