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Protecting Seniors from Financial Abuse

Why Seniors are Prime Targets for Investment Scams

Seniors are among the biggest targets for investment scams. Fraudsters prey on them because they often have financial means and may have diminished capacity. This combination makes them vulnerable to deceptive schemes.

Financial Advisors Can Play A Vital Role in Protecting Seniors from Financial Ruin

As a champion for seniors, financial advisors play a critical role in safeguarding seniors from financial ruin. By staying vigilant and recognizing the warning signs of potential fraud, you can make a significant impact.

Warning Signs of Investment Fraud

Be on the lookout for the following red flags:

  • Unlicensed Salespersons: Be suspicious of salespeople who are not properly licensed.
  • High-Pressure Sales Tactics: Watch for aggressive sales tactics and promises of guaranteed or high returns on investments with little or no risk.
  • Lack of Documentation: Fraudsters may repeatedly request money without providing any paperwork or written details of the investment. This leaves the investor with no understanding of what they have invested in.
  • Sudden Account Changes: Look for sudden changes in account usage or spending habits, such as writing an unusually large number of checks or checks in large amounts to non-U.S. persons.

Persistent Fraudsters

Fraudsters are often persistent and may target the same victim repeatedly. Vigilance is key to ensure that once a potential fraudster is identified, they do not get another opportunity to exploit the senior.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Fraud

If you suspect possible investment fraud, there are several actions you can take:

  • Contact the Senior’s Family or Trusted Contact: If appropriate, inform the senior’s family or a trusted contact person listed on the account.
  • Alert the Brokerage Firm or Investment Adviser: Notify the relevant financial institution of your concerns.
  • Reach Out to State Securities Regulators: Use the North American Securities Administrators Association’s website, to find your state securities regulator.

Bakhtiari & Harrison are committed to supporting this vital mission.