ICI's Advice on How to Protect Your Accounts from Fraud, Abuse and Being Deemed Abandoned

Updated: Jan 11, 2019



The Best Ever You Show welcomed ICI's Tami Salmon and Joanne Kane to the show for an hour long chat about investor protection. To listen to the show on free replay or share this information, click here: Tamara Salmon & Joanne Kane - Investor Protection

The Best Ever You Show is also syndicated on iTunes and IHeartRadio.


As you’re investing in mutual funds for your retirement, children’s education, or for a rainy day, you want to keep others from getting their hands on your savings! Sometimes the threat comes from a fraudster, and sometimes it comes from little-known rules buried within your state government’s bureaucracy. Because educated investors are more able to protect their assets, you’ll learn about potential risks to your assets being taken or stolen, and the steps you can take to avoid them.

Be an educated investor. Regularly monitor your accounts and protect them from both fraudsters and the states that want to get their hands on your assets.

* Think about adding a trusted contact to your mutual fund or broker-dealer accounts, particularly if you’re a senior investor. A “trusted contact” is the name of someone you have added to your account record that your mutual fund or broker-dealer can contact if they are either unable to contact you after repeated attempts or have concerns about your mental or physical health to make sure you are all right. A trusted contact is not someone who has authority to act on your behalf in the account.

* To protect your financial accounts from being deemed abandoned and turned over to the state:

o Learn more about this issue and state escheatment from ICI’s Lost Property Resource Center: www.ici.org/lost_property.

o Contact EVERY financial institution holding your money at least once a year to affirm your interest in the account. Pick a date each year (a birthday, anniversary, or other meaningful date) that you’ll remember as the date to protect your financial accounts.

o Go to www.unclaimed.org to see if you’ve already had an account escheat to a state. When you go to this website, you’ll see a map of the United States and you can click on any state to see if it is holding any money in your name. Make sure you check in every state you’ve ever lived, as well as in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. You should search for property in these states because the financial institution holding the account may not have known your state of residence—for example, if you were the beneficiary on an account and the beneficiary designation did not include your address—in which case, the account would have been sent to the state where the

institution holding the account was based. Mutual funds and other financial institutions tend to be domiciled in one of these four states.

* Monitor all of your financial accounts by OPENING your statements and reviewing them for any inappropriate activity. Notify your financial institution immediately if you see any inappropriate activity.

* Know when your statements typically arrive (e.g., quarterly, monthly) and contact your financial institution if you don’t receive your statement.

* Make sure your financial institution has multiple ways to contact you, including cell phone and email.

* Shred any financial documents you want to throw away.

* Do not log in to your financial accounts using public Wi-Fi. Always log in from a secure, encrypted network.

* Never give your personal information to a stranger. Protect your personal information and passwords.

* Monitor your credit history and consider freezing your credit.

* Stay up to date with any current scams. Sources with tips and advice to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud include the following:

o The Federal Trade Commission’s website: www.ftc.gov/tips-advice

o FINRA’s Protect Your Money and Avoid Fraud webpages: www.finra.org/investors/protect-your-money and www.finra.org/investors/avoid-fraud. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulates and oversees broker-dealers throughout the United States.

o NASAA’s Fraud Center: www.nasaa.org/2815/nasaa-fraud-center. The North American Securities Administrators Association is the trade association for all state securities regulators.

* If you believe you or someone you care about has been the victim of financial fraud, contact your state securities regulator. They are able to quickly conduct investigations and take action to protect you. You can find the contact information for your state’s securities regulator through the “Contact Your Regulator” tab on NASAA’s website: www.nasaa.org/about-us/contact-us/contact-your-regulator.

About ICI:

The Investment Company Institute (ICI) is the leading association representing regulated funds globally, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts (UITs) in the United States, and similar funds offered to investors in jurisdictions worldwide. ICI seeks to encourage adherence to high ethical standards, promote public understanding, and otherwise advance the interests of funds, their shareholders, directors, and advisers. ICI’s members manage total assets of US$21.5 trillion in the United States, serving more than 100 million US shareholders, and US$7.0 trillion in assets in other jurisdictions. ICI carries out its international work through ICI Global, with offices in London, Hong Kong, and Washington, DC.

About Tami Salmon:


Tami Salmon is Associate General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In her capacity with the ICI she handles a variety of state and federal legal and regulatory issues relating to mutual funds, 529 plans, broker-dealers, and investment advisers. Her responsibilities including running ICI’s CCO, Chief Risk Officer, and Internal Audit Committees. She also provides support services to ICI’s CISO, Technology, and Transfer Agent Advisory Committees.


About Joanne Kane:

Joanne Kane is the Director of Operations and Transfer Agency of the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Ms. Kane joined ICI in 2013 and is responsible for facilitating transfer agent initiatives with industry stakeholders, and collaborating with stakeholders to pursue and achieve related regulatory, legislative, and public policy goals. Ms. Kane has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including extensive knowledge of transfer agency and compliance. Prior to joining ICI, Ms. Kane served as Vice President of Transfer Agent Governance and Administration for Columbia Management Investors Services, Corp. Earlier in her career, she served as Assistant Vice President of Transfer Agent Compliance with IXIS Asset Management Services. Ms. Kane graduated Magna Cum Laude from Providence College with a BS degree in finance.

About The Best Ever You Show:


Host Elizabeth Hamilton Guarino & guests are on a mission to raise awareness - to inspire you to embrace the inner love, gifts, and talents that create the essence of who you really are - and to challenge you to share this uniqueness with the world. Best Ever You is a safe place to discover, or re-discover your authentic, best self - to create a vision and practice that vision, to really live - where each moment in your life matters. Our goal is assist you to connect with your true self, to others around you, and to the world as a whole, in peace - for peace.Your highest-best-self and best-life mean making a commitment to yourself to become healthy in all ways - mentally, physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally. Today, Best Ever You is a leading multi-media provider of lifestyle and self-help content. We are dedicated to helping YOU and all people across the globe live life to the fullest by being their best. We provide unique content, creative insight and tools you can use in your everyday life. Our network is a community of people making a difference. We are all dedicated to helping you be your best and create and live your best life.

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