Financial Fraud & Personal Finance
—Learn why you must be keenly aware of those who are around you


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If you are a consumer and you are in the process of improving your credit or finances—you must have the understanding that financial fraud is on the rise. 


Don’t be fooled by those who articulate what on the surface appears to be a reasonable investment selection—or approach for you to take.

It is imperative that you have a “comprehensive understanding” of how personal finance—really works—and you must have the “mental working knowledge” that is needed to approach your credit and finances in a comprehensive and “highly beneficial” manner.

 

If you are a senior—or if you have parents or others that you are concerned about who are seniors—be sure that you are aware of financial fraud in general—and in particular as it relates to seniors—as they are a major target.


Those who offer financial seminars for the elderly, education planning and other seminars of a financial nature—are in many cases using their “professional designations, speaking skills and polished presentation” as cover to possibly get your hard earned savings!


Whether they go by the names of Attorneys, CPA’s, Financial Planner’s—or countless other designations—whether real or made up—you must have your guard up—for the potential of fraud!


If you are elderly—or you are concerned about an elderly person—you must realize that elderly consumers are a prime target for crooked financial advisors and investment scammers!  


You must have that realization at the forefront of your mind—when you—or someone whom you know receives an  invitation to an investment or financial luncheon or dinner—no matter how extravagant! 


Seminars, educational workshops, meetings—and the like—that you did not initiate—must be given scrutiny by you—and cause you to scrutinize the potential for fraud in a real and engaging way!


Nothing brings more discomfort to my spirit than to hear of elderly consumers being scammed out of their life savings by those who do not have the elderly’s best interest in mind.


You must be aware that many scammers will try to gain your “trust” by appealing to your emotions or exploit the “greed” in youor the “fear of the uncertainty” that you may have about your future (TGIF—or the Trust & Greed In Youor the Fear that you may have about your future)!


You must understand and realize that crimes against the elderly are occurring at an increasing rate—and with the aging baby-boom generation—the trend is likely to continue for years!


Seniors were among the victims in over 33% of the enforcement actions taken by state securities regulators since 2006, according to the North American Securities Administration. 


If you are on fixed income and you worry about whether your income will outlast your lifetime—you would be more susceptible than those who have their financial house in order.


The anxiety that you might feel by not knowing whether you have the savings that you need—to outlast your lifetime—might cause you to door make decisions that do not serve your best interest.


It is imperative that you approach your finances in a comprehensive manner—and it is imperative that you know your responsibilities—as it relates to your credit and finances!


By doing so—you "will not" put yourself in a position—where you feel you have to take unnecessary risks—in order to maintain the standard of living—that “you desire!”


In addition, don’t let the fact that you might live alone—or that you might be lonely—lead you to make decisions that are not in your best interest. 


Many scammers realize that as you get older you may often feel lonely—or you may be facing “mental decline or cognitive impairment” that can occur with aging.


They also realize that you may have a lifetime of savings that they can tap into—for their best interest—not yours!
  


Ponzi schemes—along with many other schemes that target the elderly are on the rise.  With a Ponzi scheme—scammers use money from new investors—to pay off old ones. 


In a good economy the scheme works well—however, in a down economy those who go for the pitch—are few and far between—and it is harder to find new victims to keep the scheme going. 


In addition, old investors would want to cash out—due to their need—or perceived need for their cash—as the economy is in decline—and at that point—the scheme is often determined to be fraudulent!


Other schemes that are prevalent are when financial and other professionals work in conjunction to scam you out of your savings.


You must realize that once you are scammed—the likelihood of you recovering your losses are—slim to none.


You must have the “mental working knowledge” of how to manage your finances at all times! 


Also keep in mind that law enforcement may be reluctant to pursue your case in an aggressive manner—unless there are numerous victims—and the scam gets into the millions!


Other fraudsters may use a more subtle approach and steer you into investments that may not make sense for you based on your current financial condition and life stage—but it might make them commissions of a high amount—at your expense!


Don’t let the fact that your church, community center, social group—or others that you may trustvouch for those who pitch financial—and other products to you. 



Many have been scammed by those that they trusted—and have lost their home, had to declare bankruptcy, had to go back to work—or depend on others for survival.


Many of those who are scammed and lose large amounts of their savings are so embarrassed by the whole scenario—that they often carry it inside—until they transition.


How does going back to work because you have no other choice—sound when you are elderly and you have been scammed out of your life savings?  It is imperative that you know if your retirement needs are addressed in an appropriate manner—at this time!


Don’t put yourself in position where you might not trust anyone—due to being scammed—as it would have a lasting and permanent imprint in your mind—and if you were scammed out of your life savings—who would you trust?

 

How to Avoid Being Scammed

 


If you suspect Investment Fraud:



Call—800-732-0330 SEC Commission or go to www.sec.gov

 

To obtain background information on a broker or brokerage firm call 800-289-9999 or go to www.finra.org/investors/toolscalculator/brokercheck



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About This Article:

 

The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) UnderwoodThomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia. 


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He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411, Home Seller 411, and  Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.  

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He is the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner. 

He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. He was the first financial planner to coin the phrase "financially alert mind"  and he consistently writes in a style that is designed to provide consumers the ability to take control of their lives and achieve great results.

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