Stock broker fraud is just one of the many types of financial fraud that targets unsuspecting senior citizens. This age group is especially vulnerable to fraud due to several reasons, according to the FBI.
- They are likely to have a significant nest egg that attracts scam artists.
- They grew up in a time when people were taught to be polite and trusting.
- They aren’t as likely to report fraud because they have no idea where to start and to whom to report it to.
If you have a senior citizen in your life, watch out for them and check in often to ensure they are not being victimized. Make sure they know the name of a securities fraud lawyer just in case.
Here are some of the top scams that historically happen to senior citizens.
- Unscrupulous Stock Lawyers and Financial Advisors. Even if the stock broker is a family friend, no one is immune to a broker or advisor who wants to get away with fraud. Stock brokers who make shady trades, pressure you into making investments you’re not comfortable with and give you false or misleading information about a potential stock can all be contributing to stock fraud in America. Financial advisors can also pose a threat to seniors if they funnel money from accounts without authorization. It’s always advised to stay on top of your accounts and statements to ensure money going out is legit. Even financial advisors with excellent credentials, experience and ethics can be fraudulent, says Bankrate, so be diligent in your research.
- Prescription Drug Scams. It’s no secret the rising cost of prescription drugs has left many people with low income scrambling. And because seniors are often on a fixed income, they turn to cheaper sources for their medication, mainly online. Not only can the drugs be counterfeit, the interactions can open the door for further scams. Other times, the scam artists simply take the money but don’t deliver the goods. This happens with essential medication like heart medicine, as well as anti-aging products like Botox. Seniors are asked to contact their local police department if they feel they have been a victim of fraud.
- Internet and Email Scams. The Internet can be confusing for senior citizens to navigate, especially those who know little about technology and social media. Studies show that adults over 74 typically use the Internet for health information, product information and the latest news. However, they’re not quite as adept when it comes to online and email safety. They may easily be swayed by an email that promises a big return on their small investment, and as a result they may offer up personal information way too easily. That’s all it takes. While younger users know all the tricks and scams, older Americans are less confident and therefore more easily convinced to give out bank routing numbers and social security numbers.
Being diligent in researching investments is key so as not to become a victim of fraud. Let Thomas Law Group help.