Be on the Lookout: 3 Common Signs of an Investment Scam
Awareness will help you avoid becoming a victim of elder financial fraud
Investment fraud is something that can affect anyone, but elderly people seem to be targeted the most. According to one study, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. over the age of 65 have been the victim of a financial scam. Various studies have found that due to elder financial abuse, seniors lose billions every year.
So, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones from fraud? Vigilance is the key. Here are three common signs of investment scams to be aware of:
If you haven’t inquired about an investment opportunity and you find one in your mailbox or in an email, or receive a phone call, be cautious. These days, scammers have gotten more sophisticated – so even if you do some digging and discover what appears to be a legitimate company, it may not be. If there is any doubt, you can check out the Scam Meter created by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You should also be wary of advertisements for seminars or other events that offer things like free lunches, as these are frequently accompanied by aggressive sales pitches.
A good sign of a bad deal is when someone is insisting that you absolutely can’t wait to make an investment. They’ll tell you how great the opportunity is and you’ll be missing out if you don’t act quickly, or claim the cost to get in will dramatically increase. What they’re often really trying to do is get your money before you can do any research or get additional information. Remember that most valid investments can wait, and a reputable broker or financial professional won’t try to push you into anything. To check credentials and work history of a broker or a firm, you can make use of FINRA’s BrokerCheck service.
There are no guarantees with investing; any legitimate investment carries some degree of risk. When something seems too good to be true – like an investment touted as low risk, high reward – it probably is. If you’ve been presented with an opportunity that offers a high guaranteed rate of return, be sure to look at the fine print that mentions the risks and any fees you’ll be on the hook for.
It is almost inevitable that at some point in your life, you will encounter an investment scam. As long as you stay alert to the warning signs and do your due diligence, you can keep your money safe from unethical brokers or financial advisors. But if you have already been the victim of elder financial fraud, there are things you can do to potentially get your money back. Your first step should be to talk to an elder fraud attorney at the Silver Law Group. Through securities arbitration, we may be able to help you recover lost funds. And because we work on contingency, you won’t owe us anything unless we’re successful.
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