Read PDF Scam Artists and Seniors: How to Protect Yourself and Those You Love From Investment Fraud

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The key to every scammer's success is being able to put you under "emotional ether. At no time are we more vulnerable than after the loss of a loved one, and con artists know that. Police say he scanned obituaries for prey, then pretended to be a bank official to trick them out of money. He may have been working the scam across the country for decades. Your Plan Ask a trusted family member to temporarily handle your financial responsibilities while you are grieving. Have that person follow up on any suspicious phone calls or emails. And be aware that while you are grieving, you may be more vulnerable to fraud tactics that play on your emotions.

This rip-off involves getting an unsolicited email from McDonald's, Subway or another popular restaurant or retailer offering a free gift card if you click a link to activate it. The pitch looks legit, but it's a phishing scam, meaning the perpetrator is either trying to install malware on your computer or gather personal info by having you complete an online questionnaire.

Your Plan Repeat after us: Never click a link in an unsolicited email or divulge personal info, no matter how enticing the offer. Do a Google search such as "McDonald's gift card scam" and see if any warnings come up. In most cases, they will. Broadcast journalist Richard Lui's father, Stephen Lui, who suffers from dementia, became a victim of scam artists who bombarded him with hundreds of phone calls from fake charities and lotteries. The year-old former Presbyterian youth pastor and retired social worker for the city of San Francisco has always been outgoing and trusting.

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INVESTMENT FRAUD, Real Stories. Real People. Real Scams. - Documentary

Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free to search for ways to make a difference in your community at www. Javascript is not enabled. Stealing Your Name - Stealing Your Life Identity thieves reveal inside stories of how they steal, consequences and devastation for victims, and the best ways to protect yourself.

Adam Voorhes The top scams, an inside look at the fraudsters' tactics and how to avoid them in Tech support This just might be the biggest consumer scam in the U.

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Silent call Has this been happening to you? IRS impostor This con is still going strong. Chip card Banks and credit card companies are in the process of issuing customers new "chip" cards. Medical identity theft When most people hear identity theft, they think of someone stealing their credit card info and buying a big-screen. Counterfeit apps In September, news broke that Apple's normally secure app store had been compromised.

Grieving widow The key to every scammer's success is being able to put you under "emotional ether. Gift voucher This rip-off involves getting an unsolicited email from McDonald's, Subway or another popular restaurant or retailer offering a free gift card if you click a link to activate it. Please leave your comment below.

Join or Renew Today! Please don't show me this again for 90 days. Your email address is now confirmed. That's what makes them vulnerable. As a master closer, I made it my first objective to get the victim "under the ether. Once I have gotten you into this condition, it doesn't matter how smart or dumb you are. Ether trumps intelligence every time. To find a client's emotional need, I'll ask a bunch of personal questions.

Then I'll throttle up the pressure by focusing on that need. That's got to be tough. If you apply logic, the answer is: I don't even know who you are. The other pathway to the ether is simple greed: I just promise people they can make a ton of money. I'm often asked how I could have ripped off senior citizens.

The answer is that con men target people who have money, and a lot of seniors are sitting on fat nest eggs. It's the Willie Sutton rule: He robbed banks because that is where the money was. But there's more to it than that. I think older people are easier to scam, because their emotional needs are closer to the surface. They aren't afraid to tell people how much they care about their kids and grandkids. They aren't afraid to share their fears about the unstable financial markets and how much they worry about being on a fixed income.

These fears are real. And every one of them is a bullet for my gun. My scam career was focused on investments like phony oil and gas deals , bogus business opportunities and gold-coin scams.

10 scary scams targeting seniors and how to avoid them

And for these types of investments the perfect victim was almost always a male. Men are more emotional than women. Men are grandiose; they are full of ego. And that's all driven by emotion; it's driven by insecurity; it's driven by a feeling of inferiority. Most people who get emotional quickly will fall every time. And if they don't get worked up, I won't waste my time with them. If prospects are asking a lot of questions or tell me they want to think it over or talk with their lawyer, I will hang up the phone.

Victims don't ask a lot of questions; they answer a lot of questions. Victims don't read paperwork; they wait for you to tell them what it says. Victims don't look for why the offer is a scam; they look for why the offer will make them money. They want you to make them feel good so they can pull the trigger.

Early on in my career I was selling bogus oil and gas units to investors. Every so often when I was pitching these deals, an investor would ask if I was registered with the U. Securities and Exchange Commission. I would always say, "Of course we are, and I want you to verify that the minute we get off the phone. They just want to hear me say it. If I were still in the scam business, I would focus on reverse mortgages and precious metals. Home-equity and reverse mortgage scams are attractive now because a lot of seniors have paid off their house, and that's like an untapped bank account.

A lot of TV and direct mail advertising tells you how to get money out of your house while you are still living in it. Some of these ads are legitimate; many are not. My ma asked me once how her friends could avoid these scams. I told her two things. If someone is pitching a deal, ask yourself, "What's in it for him?

It may not be a fraud, but it may be a lot better deal for the salesman than for you. As for gold and silver scams, I worked in several coin rooms in the s. We would sell gold coins at a to percent markup. This is a great scam, because the coin industry is largely unregulated. Plus, because the victims receive the coins, they don't realize until years later that they've been taken.

With the bad economy, these scams are huge now. One of my victims was a successful engineer from California named Tim.

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He first talked to one of our salesmen, who gave him the generic pitch. Then he turned him over to me to close. The first thing I said to Tim was: How are you doing? With those six words I knew that Tim was going to fall and fall hard. It wasn't just that he immediately complied with my request; it was how he complied. The tone of his voice was high-pitched and squeaky, almost submissive.

It's hard to explain, but over time you pick up the nuances and subtleties in people's voices. It's the wolf sensing the lamb. He was signaling that I was in control and that he wanted me in control. All of those years I ripped people off, I knew it was wrong. But I was making so much money, I didn't care. It wasn't until those agents busted into my office in Miami that it finally hit me: What I was doing was really bad. I pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and went to prison for more than three years.

I had a lot of time to think about my crimes. When I got out, I promised my mother I would never go back to my old ways. A decade after the Great Recession, the U. The top-paying jobs tend to cluster in two industries -- and may prove less vulnerable automation. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email.

One presenter at the SCL meeting profiled two types of fraud victims among the elderly: Older single women, often widows, with low education, income and financial literacy often fall victim to bogus prize scams where you have to pay a modest sum to win a "sure-thing" larger prize. Married, middle-aged adults who are relatively wealthy and comfortable with risk-taking aren't immune, either. They can fall victim to investment fraud by pouring money into offerings that promise high returns with no risk. But these fraudulent investments do turn out to be "too good to be true. A few simple commonsense strategies will go a long way toward preventing a financial loss due to fraud: Recognize when someone has made you feel angry, fearful, envious, hungry or desiring money or luxury items.

Don't buy or invest in anything when you feel that way! Wait a few days for your emotions to subside, then decide if you really should make that expenditure or investment. Anybody who says "Act now!