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
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 you or the “fear
of the uncertainty” that you may have about your future (TGIF—or
the Trust & Greed In You—or 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 do—or 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
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 trust vouch 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