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How seniors can protect themselves from investment fraud

While there are many crimes that exist that seem to be targeted at one group or another, when it comes to seniors, they often are victimized by investment or securities fraud. Fraudsters engaging in this type of crime rely heavily on using their smooth talking ways to convince seniors that they're making wise investment choices in working with them.

Considering the many different ponzi schemes that have had light shed on them in the past decade or so, it's more important than ever that seniors are even more vigilant in making investment decisions. In this case, asking more questions before investing is critical.

This is because fraudsters choose to prey upon seniors, in large part, because they believe they not only have the money to invest, but are also are seen as being less apt to do the necessary research to make more informed decisions.

Before committing funds to any cause, it's important that you clearly understand what you're investing in, what the risks attached to that investment are and what the company's history is like. Any investment opportunity that sounds unbelievable probably is indeed too good to be true.

In addition to knowing more about both the company and the opportunity, it's also critical to know your salesperson as well. The disciplinary records of reputable, professional brokers or investment advisers can be researched online using the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRA) or Florida state regulator's databases.

You also shouldn't be swayed solely by a good pitch either. Any adviser that attempts to rush you into making a fast investment decision, by claiming that an opportunity is available for only a limited time, or otherwise tells you that an opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime one, should also be approached with caution. Anyone who approaches you with an unsolicited offer is someone to be weary of as well.

If, after doing your homework, you decide to go with a particular investor, it's important that you keep close tabs on the funds you invest. Any attempt you make to either retrieve your principal or otherwise cash out on profits that is met with inaction should raise red flags.

In this case, you should first contact one of the governing authorities as listed above to report any alleged impropriety and then consult with a Mebourne, Florida, securities investment fraud attorney to review the specifics of your case.

Source: sec.gov, "A guide for seniors: protect yourself against investment fraud," accessed May 10, 2017

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