Is Someone “Phishing” for You?
Most of us have been on the receiving end of an April Fools Day prank at some point in our lives. But did you know that in France, April 1 is known as Poisson d’Avril, or “April Fish”? Is some fraudster "phishing" for your personal information or pocketbook?
If you are a mature investor, scam artists may be looking particularly for you. According to the FBI, older investors tend to have concentrated wealth and are less likely to report fraud after it occurs. In addition, seniors may feel indebted to someone who has provided unsolicited advice or other assistance.
And senior women who live alone are especially vulnerable to scams: Women are nearly twice as likely to be victims of elder financial abuse as men.1
|Common Types of Fraud That May Affect You or Your Loved Ones|
|Caregiver Fraud||A dishonest caregiver could steal valuables or cash. Other schemes involve intercepting the victim's mail to steal personal information for identity theft.|
|Grandparent Scams||A caller may claim to be a grandchild (or another relative or a friend) who needs money immediately.|
|Identity Theft and Phishing||As thieves become more sophisticated in their online approaches, less “tech-savvy” seniors may find it difficult to tell whether the business requesting their personal information is legitimate. Threats of closing an account or canceling a credit card may add to the victim’s insecurity and make him or her want to respond more quickly.|
|Seminars||Mature individuals are often the target of “free lunch” seminars. However, these lunches are rarely free: According to the AARP, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators recently found that half of the free lunch seminars featured exaggerated or misleading advertising claims, and 13% appeared to be fraudulent and were referred for possible disciplinary action.|
|Telemarketing||Seniors are more likely to be home when a telemarketer calls. The FBI estimates that scam artists have taken more than $500 million per year from unsuspecting older adults.|
|How Can I Help Protect Myself from Fraud?|
|Investigate before Investing|
|Know the Fears Con Artists Prey Upon||Con artists know that older adults often worry about having enough income in retirement. They may pitch a scheme as a way to increase financial security, but only if you act immediately.|
|Be Wary of Unsolicited Offers|
|Protect Your Personal Information|
If Fraud Occurs
Fighting financial fraud starts with education as well as communication between you, your family members and your financial professionals. At Edward Jones, we want to empower our clients and their families to help protect themselves from financial fraud.
1 The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse, Mature Market Institute, 2011