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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Predators exploit the elderly with flashy investment schemes

Maybe you saw an ad on TV or heard something on the radio about a sure-fire investment, something that would secure you for the rest of your life and would never decrease in value, but you had to act now. Perhaps someone called you on the phone and offered you the deal of a lifetime, and you fell for it. Worst of all, maybe the lies came from someone you knew and trusted.

Now you are broke and feeling foolish because the whole thing was a fraud. You want your money back, but you don't know where to start. You may even feel too embarrassed to tell anyone what happened.

Common traits of those who are vulnerable to fraud

You're not alone. Among Americans over the age of 64, 17 percent admit to being defrauded, amounting to billions of dollars in losses. Most of the victims are men older than 70, and many have some characteristics in common, including the following:

  • Tending to be risk-takers
  • Measuring success by wealth
  • Being inclined to respond to sales pitches
  • Making decisions about your investments at least five times a year
  • Believing you are more likely to get rich with investments that are not government regulated

Investment counselors suggest you work with regulated investment brokers to minimize your chances of falling for a fraudulent claim. Even if someone you know offers you an investment deal that seems too good to be true, it is advisable to ask for details in writing and time to investigate the claims. In fact, advocates for seniors recommend that you remain suspicious of any unsolicited offers and that you seek advice before turning over your money.

Seeking justice if you are a victim of fraud

Researchers believe that if you understand the risk factors, and recognize any of them in yourself, you are better able to avoid situations where someone may try to take advantage of you financially.

Nevertheless, if you do find yourself defrauded and lose money to an unethical investment scheme, you have recourse to legal advice. Laws in California protect seniors who are victims of financial abuse. In fact, you may be eligible to recover significant compensation above your original losses in some cases. An attorney who has served seniors for years, helping them when others have defrauded them, may be able to assist you in the same way.

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