SENIORS AVOID SCAM ARTISTSJan 27th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances
Scammers Are Looking for Your Money
Senior Citizen Journal talks about scamming issues and senior citizens a lot. We here at SCJ believe one of our mission points is to help seniors find ways to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.
Scams come in all forms… mail via the United States Postal Service, telephone calls, your front door, emails and seminars.
Tips for Self-Protection Against Scams
The following tips are intended to help seniors think about how to protect themselves from scammers who sell investments:
- Ask questions and demand verification of investments, especially if it’s a company/firm that you have never heard of before; if you received a notice of a seminar, for example, that purports to be able to dramatically increase your investment income, be aware that the only purpose such an ‘invitation’ has is to increase the business income of the sender. Talk to trusted friends and family members, and a financial adviser if you have one, before you respond to invitations to invest your money in one program or another.
- A lot of information comes to you unsolicited; that is, you do not request it; it just shows up. Don’t allow yourself to believe such information is valid just because you receive it. This includes mail, email, faxes, phone calls, invitations to seminars you read about in the newspaper. If you think you might want to respond, talk first to a trusted family member or friend, or someone in the banking/investment industry that has first-hand knowledge about valid vs fraudulent information.
- The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to first be skeptical. Slow down. Process the information. Talk with trusted friends and family members. Talk with people at your bank. If you already have an investment firm, talk with your adviser. Whatever the situation, do not react immediately.
- Investment advisers have to be licensed. Ask anyone selling an investment to show you their license. Don’t assume he/she has one just because they say they do. Ask to see it. Then verify its validity. You aren’t insulting anyone; you are doing your due diligence before you consider the information he/she has to offer.
Seniors armed with self-protection are steps ahead of non-protected folk when it comes to investment scamming.