Apparently, these so-called “advisers” are taking full advantage of two things that make us vulnerable to them: our desire to recoup our Great Recession losses, and the likelihood that we will trust a fellow Boomer outright, because we believe he or she understands our plight and truly wants to help us.
So, here’s some solid advice from the investment fraud experts, on how to safeguard yourself:
- Check your adviser's credentials (remember last week we alerted you to doing your research before making important decisions, and here is another example). Titles like "certified senior financial planner" can be fabricated to make you believe someone is uniquely qualified to assess your retirement needs, when, in reality, such designations don't necessarily mean a thing. You can check on the legitimacy of an adviser's financial title, and verify his/her designation and licensing through FIRA's BrokerCheck service , or by contacting your State’s securities regulator. You can also check federal court dockets to see if your adviser has declared bankruptcy or if his or her company has ever been sued for fraud, through PACER.gov
- Skip the free meal. According to a 2009 report by AARP, scam artists often find victims through free retirement planning seminars that usually include a free lunch or dinner at a nice local restaurant or hotel.
- You’re at greater risk of fraud when you let advisers talk you into stocks that don't trade on the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange
You have been officially alerted…