Elder Financial Fraud: Part III
Financial fraud is the fastest-growing form of elder abuse – and one that aging experts and regulators alike predict will become more prevalent in the future as baby boomers age.
To prevent elderly individuals from becoming financial fraud victims, there are several red flags that they, as well other investors, should consider.
• If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Investment pitches that promise very high or “guaranteed” returns with little or no risk are more than likely fraudulent. Every investment contains some level of risk.
• If the person or company selling an investment or financial product requires an immediate, on-the-spot response or cash payment, it’s a good idea to walk away from the deal. Similarly, if a steep upfront fee in return for making more money is demanded of an investor, it’s more than likely that the investment is part of a scam.
• A key financial fraud red flag is when investors are told not to discuss the investment in question with family members or friends.
• Unsolicited investment pitches that arrive via the Internet or from overseas should be viewed as highly suspect.
•If someone tries to instill fear in an elderly investor by telling them that their failure to act immediately on the investment pitch will result in high costs to them, the investor should report the individual and their scam to authorities.
• Any investment in which additional information about the investment itself cannot be produced should be viewed as questionable and more than likely fraudulent.
For more red flags on fraudulent investments and information on elder financial fraud, check out the following resources:
Federal Bureau of Investigation,
Center for Retirement Research,
FINRA’s Risk Meter,
National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
National Center on Elder Abuse,
SEC for Seniors,