Stealing Investments From Seniors
Stealing investment money from the elderly is a growing form of fraud. Seniors are often inviting targets for financial fraud because of the substantial assets they've accumulated over the years. The perpetrators of these crimes include not only scam artists but also family members, as well.
A 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey revealed that 7.3 million older Americans – one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 – have been victimized by a financial swindle. Another recent study from MetLife shows that about 1 million older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually as a result of elder financial abuse. Even celebrities such as 91-year-old Mickey Rooney are alleged to have fallen victim.
Last year, 24 state securities regulators joined together to educate thousands of U.S. medical professionals about how to spot older Americans who may be particularly vulnerable to investment fraud abuse and then to refer these at-risk patients to state securities regulators and adult services professionals.
In some instances, however, a broker or investment firm may be at fault when it comes to elder investment fraud. For example, many retirees are sold inappropriate, high-risk investments that turn out to be entirely unsuitable for their risk-tolerance levels.
Stock brokers and investment firms owe specific fiduciary duties to their clients. They are required by certain laws and regulations to only recommend investments or financial products that are suitable to a client's particular financial profile. This includes the client's needs and stated investing objectives.
If brokers or investment firms fail to uphold their fiduciary duties, they can be held liable for making unsuitable investment recommendations.
If you've suffered excessive financial losses due to stockbroker misconduct, please contact us.