Ten Tips for Avoiding Investment Fraud and Abuse in Your Golden Years – Part 3
Thanks for coming back for the third, and final, segment in this three part series, as we discuss some simple tips that you can follow to avoid investment fraud and abuse in your golden years. So far we’ve discussed six tips, which include: 1) not being a courtesy victim, 2) checking out strangers touting strange deals, 3) staying in charge of your money, 4) never judging a person’s integrity by how they sound, 5) watching out for salespeople who prey on your fears, and 6) exercising particular caution if you are an elderly widow. In this installment, we’ll discuss the final four tips you can follow to protect your nest egg.
7. Monitor your investments and ask tough questions. Too many older Americans, after erroneously trusting a con artist, compound their error by failing to monitor their investment. As a diligent investor, you should insist on regular written and oral reports. You should also look for signs of excessive or unauthorized trading and remain unmoved by assurances that such practices are routine or in your best interest.
8. Look for trouble retrieving your principal or cashing out profits. If a stockbroker, financial planner, or other individual with whom you have invested stalls when you want to pull out your principal or even just profits, you may have uncovered someone who wants to cheat you. Since dishonest professionals often pocket their victims’ funds, they will go to great lengths to explain why the funds are not readily accessible. Unless your investment has a fixed term, such as a bond, you should be able to retrieve your funds or profits within a reasonable time.
9. Don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting investment fraud or abuse. Older Americans often fail to report investment fraud or abuse out of embarrassment or fear that they will be judged incapable of handling their own affairs. Con artists know about such fears and even count on these fears to prevent or delay the scam’s exposure. You should never be embarrassed or afraid of reporting fraud or abuse to your local securities agency.
10. Beware of “reload” scams. Faced with the loss of funds, some seniors panic and go along with another scheme in which the con artist promises to make good on the original funds that were lost, and possibly even generate new returns beyond those originally promised. The sad result is that the senior loses whatever savings they had left in the wake of the initial scam. Watch out of scammers insisting that you invest more money to recoup an initial loss.
By remembering and following these tips, you’ll be in a great position to protect yourself from investment fraud and abuse. If you have any questions or concerns about an Òinvestment professional,Ó or feel as if you have been the victim of a scam or abuse, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Division of Securities at 303-894-2320.