Scammers know the psychological profile of their victims, and they customize their scams accordingly. Scammers love senior citizens. In the next 20 years, 10,000 people in this country will celebrate their 60th birthday every 24 hours.

The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, former Orange County California Representative Christopher Cox, believes that America is facing an "avalanche" of senior investment fraud cases. The SEC has proactive programs functioning in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona because of the large senior populations in those states. Unfortunately many other states are only reactive, which means that the help comes after the crime has been committed; often too late for the victim.

Most investment scams have two things in common:


  • They promise a guaranteed income
  • They pay a higher rate of return than certificates of deposit or other mainstream investments.


What can YOU do?


  • Make sure you know exactly who you are buying from.
  • Never sign anything immediately. (Always sleep on the decision.)
  • If the salesman insists that you must buy NOW, say no thank you. Legitimate investments can wait overnight.
  • Call your state agency that governs investments and find out whether the seller and his product are properly registered in the state. If it's an insurance-related product, call your state Department of Insurance.
  • Call the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investor information service hot line at (800) 732-0330.
  • Demand everything in writing before you make a decision to invest. If the entire disclosure is less than two full pages, you don't want to be a part of it.
  • Talk to a trusted financial advisor (e.g. your banker) before you invest a single penny with a salesman you've never seen or heard of before.
  • Make sure that any investment you do make ... makes sense and sounds realistic. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it ain't.


Fight Fraud America!