Survey: Seniors Victimized by Financial Skullduggery Lose $140,500

Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 07:50 AM

By Dan Weil

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For those of you who are senior citizens or soon to become one, beware of offers of a free meal or other enticements from unscrupulous financial operators looking to get at your savings.

The average senior who suffers financial abuse is bilked out of $140,500, according to a survey of 2,649 financial planners conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, CNNMoney reports.

Free lunches or dinners accompanied by a seminar are a common ploy for financial scammers to gain a ready audience with seniors.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

"It's a very typical mechanism used to lure people in and put them in a situation where they are given a hard sell for products that aren't suitable for them," Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, the board’s head of communications, tells CNNMoney.

"[I]t's hard when you're in a situation like that where you've accepted a free meal and you're feeling a lot of pressure to buy."

Many seniors also are victimized by financial sales people who contact them by mail, e-mail or phone to offer what they claim is a low-cost, high-return investment opportunity.

More often than not, these investments turn out to be high cost and low return. Sometimes they’re simply fraudulent.

Seniors can take several steps to protect themselves. Perhaps the easiest is to find a reliable financial adviser who can help with all your investments.

Professionals that you already trust may be able to point you to a good adviser.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

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