Top Tips to Stop Elder Financial Fraud Spotlighted by an Investment Fraud Attorney
Spring has bloomed, the winter storms have ebbed, and snow has (mostly)
melted, but one thing hasn’t changed this year: investment fraudsters
and con artists continue to
target seniors in investment scams across the nation.
To help stop elder financial fraud, follow these top tips from the Certified
Financial Planner Board of Standards:
Verify credentials, designations, and supposed specialties. Many con artists
and fraudsters who target seniors use fake credentials, designations,
or supposed specialties to lure in their victims and gain their trust.
Make sure you double-check the legitimacy of any
special credentials or designations an advisor, broker, or investment promoter uses. (For tips on understanding investment credentials, click here.)
You should also ask whether the individual is required to provide advice
fiduciary standard of care and what organizations license or supervise his or her services.
Understand what you’re buying. There is a plethora of complex investment
products on the market today, and they all have a long list of risks and
potential downsides. Unfortunately, many financial professionals are selling
these products to seniors based on the potential benefits alone. This
is particularly true when it comes to
annuities and insurance products. To help prevent fraud, ask as many questions as you need to ask until
you fully understand the recommended product. In particular, make sure
you know if and how you can get your money out if you need it, whether
withdrawing your funds will carry a hefty penalty or fee, and what kind
of fees and commissions the financial professional recommending the product
will get if you make the investment. Also make sure to get the answers
to your questions in writing.
Beware of “free lunch” seminars and/or educational workshops.
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these scams. According to FINRA,
approximately 80% of
senior citizens in the U.S. receive at least one invitation to a free lunch
seminar per year. Many seniors receive more than one invitation. While those so-called
“workshops” may seem like a good idea, it is important to remember:There is no such thing as a “free lunch.”
For more tips on avoiding elder financial fraud and investment scams, read
the CFP Board’sFinancial Self-Defense for Seniors here.
About our law firm:
Meyer Wilson represents individuals across the country who have been harmed
by investment fraud. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee
basis and we never request a retainer of any kind. Contact us for more
information or complete the online form on the top of this page and we
will respond promptly.