Fraudsters target people of all ages, but older adults with retirement savings are particularly lucrative targets. And the consequences of fraud and exploitation can have a devastating impact on older adults who depend on their retirement savings after they leave the workforce.
"Older investors should take steps to protect their hard-earned retirement savings from all types of loss -- whether true investment fraud or unsuitable, but legal investment opportunities," said Marti DeLiema, a post-doctoral fellow at the Stanford Center on Longevity. DeLiema is one of the nation's leading experts on financial fraud and exploitation of the elderly.
Older investors are often solicited by crooks posing as financial advisers or by advisers who aren't breaking the law but are pitching investments that aren't appropriate for retirees. Why do they target older Americans? For the same supposed reason that famed bank robber Willie Sutton stole from banks -- "That's where the money is." Fraudsters know older Americans often have more wealth than younger people.
DeLiema recommends six steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from either type of exploitation.