Three Senior Financial Fraud Tips in Honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Each year, millions of senior citizens are conned out of a total of approximately
$2.6 billion through various
affinity fraud schemes,
Ponzi schemes, and investment scams. In honor of last week’s World Elder Abuse
Awareness Day, I’ve put together a new list of tips on how seniors
can protect their hard-earned money and keep from becoming just another
elder financial fraud statistic:
Ignore unsolicited calls and emails.
Unsolicited sales pitches are significantly more likely to lead to investment
fraud than offers you find yourself. My advice? Take your name off as
many solicitation lists as possible, and ignore any unsolicited investment
opportunity you come across. If you feel you absolutely must consider
a particular offer, then be sure you investigate both the opportunity
and the promoter thoroughly. You should also get a third opinion from
a qualified advisor or financial professional whom you trust.
Don’t let yourself be pressured into making a quick decision.
Con artists love dangling enticing offers in front of unsuspecting investors,
and then telling them they have to “act now” if they want
to take advantage of this “limited time offer.” Don’t
be fooled. Always "sleep on it," and take the time to do some research.
Be highly suspicious of promises of high returns or “guaranteed” results.
Seniors are a con artist’s prime target group because they don’t
have decades to build up wealth or let an investment grow. Fraudsters
know that the weak economy and volatile stock market of the last five
years have left many seniors looking for new and better ways to make money
now. Unfortunately, in the investment world, the higher the potential
for reward, the higher the risk. No matter how good it sounds, stay clear
of exaggerated claims; you simply can’t afford the loss.
Additionally, seniors should be extra vigilant against investment fraud
schemes and investment scams that involve:
Younger adults and caregivers who want to help protect their parents and
grandparents from falling prey to con artists should click here for more
tips on how to help elders avoid investment fraud. For help taking your
name off of a solicitation list, visit:
National Do Not Call Registry,
Direct Marketing Association for Direct Mail: DMA Choice,
Opt-in / Opt-out for credit and insurance offers.