The Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has published "A Guide for Seniors - Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud," which suggests that senior investors should ask the following questions to avoid being scammed:
- What do you know about the company who wants to invest your money?
- What do you know about the salesperson who has contacted you? - Suggesting investors check out disciplinary history of brokers and advisors on the SEC and FINRA online databases, as well as making clear the State’s securities regulators.
The guide also suggests that you should:
- Beware of a friendly-sounding con artist that presents you with a “sure thing” investment.
- Watch out for salespeople who prey upon your fears, such as depletion of retirement savings, anticipated costs of living increases and medical expenses, and the like.
- Don’t be rushed into an investment decision wherein a broker or salesperson suggests that there is a close deadline looming and you have got to make a quick decision for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- Be wary of unsolicited offers on the internet, especially pump and dump stocks, foreign stocks, and off-shore investments.
- Always monitor the activity on your account.
It is also a good idea to keep a trusted loved one involved with your investment decisions and legitimate brokerage firms will gladly arrange to have duplicate statements of your monthly account statements sent to a trusted family member, accountant, friend or power of attorney.
We offer a free initial consultation to senior investors who feel they may have been victimized in the financial markets. For an appointment, contact The Law Offices of Timothy J. O’Connor at (518) 426-7700.