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Fraud Watch: be alert for investment "churning" charges - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Fraud Watch: be alert for investment "churning" charges

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With the year winding down and the new year fast approaching, it’s usually a good time to review your finances. With the year winding down and the new year fast approaching, it’s usually a good time to review your finances.
HELENA -

With the year winding down and the new year fast approaching, it’s usually a good time to review your finances.

For some people, that includes investments, and that review should include how those investment dollars are being managed so you can avoid being "churned."

When a broker buys or sells securities they earn a commission. By law, they need to inform you of each of those transactions, and if they don't tell you about those transactions, it's called “churning."

In order to avoid those unwanted charges, make sure you’re communicating with your broker and make sure to review your monthly or quarterly investment statements.

If you see charges that don’t belong there, ask your broker or their supervisor. If that doesn’t work then call the state auditor’s office. 

“We can explain things to you by looking at your account and giving you some definitions. Pointing out certain things. We're certainly never going to give you investment advice, because that's not our job," said Monica Lindeen, the Montana Commissioner of Securities & Insurance.

"We can certainly answer a lot of questions. And if something suspicious is occurring within your account...if there's a lot of activity that you do not recall authorizing and definitely know you did not authorize...we will investigate that as well," she added.

When it comes to your investments, know what you want, communicate what you want, and always ask questions.

For more information, visit the Montana CSI website, or the U.S. Security & Exchange Commission website.

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