A Task Force has revealed that one out of five citizens over the age of 65 has been the victim of financial fraud. To detect the early signs of fraud and protect the older population from fallling prey to fraudulent schemes, the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program (EIFFE Prevention Program) has teamed up the North American Securities Administrators Assocation (NASAA) and various medical associations to create safeguards. According to NASAA, there are common investment scenarios which elders and their families should be on the lookout for:
Common Investment Scam Scenarios
UNSUITABLE INVESTMENTS — What might be suitable for one investor might not be right for another. Securities professionals must not recommend investments that are inappropriate for a customer’s age, risk tolerance and need for access to the money.
PONZI SCHEMES — Ponzi schemes amount to robbing an army of Peters to pay a handful of Pauls. As the number of initial investors grows and the supply of potential new investors dwindles, the Ponzi bubble bursts with the vast majority of investors losing all or most of their money.
AFFINITY FRAUD — In affinity fraud, the senior makes an investment because of a recommendation by a “trusted” friend based on similar backgrounds.
UNREGISTERED INVESTMENTS — The senior is sold a stake in a new company or enterprise and is told that the investment “does not need to be registered” with the state or federal government.
UNLICENSED SALESPEOPLE — Those who sell securities or provide investment advice must be appropriately licensed. If not, chances are they aren’t qualified to offer investments or advice.
FREE LUNCH/DINNER SEMINARS — Regulators find the majority of these seminars are actually sales pitches.
SENIOR DESIGNATIONS — Individuals may call themselves “senior specialists” to create a false level of comfort among seniors and then get them to invest.
ANY SALES PITCH ACCOMPANIED
BY PRESSURE OR COERCION
If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder investment fraud or elder securities fraud, you may have the rights to recover your money back.