Financial Elder Abuse: A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

What usually happens is that your money is not invested in anything, but simply is stolen by the scam artist. If your money is invested in the forex market, you may not have been told that the investment is very risky. Again, you’re likely to lose some or all of your money.

Offshore investment: In this type of scam, the fraudster will promise you a high return from an investment in an offshore market. They will often tell you the investment is a great way to avoid taxes.

What you may not know is that once your money is sent to another country and is in someone else’s control, you may not be able to get it back. The promised high return comes with a high risk that you’ll lose your entire investment. If the promised tax savings are a scam, you could also end up owing the government money in back- taxes, interest and penalties.

“Another common scam involves taking out a reverse mortgage and then locking up the proceeds in a multi-year annuity, even though a ban has been in place since 2008 on cross-selling the mortgages with other financial products,” said Kent Smetters, a professor of insurance and risk management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia. Reverse mortgages let people age 62 and older get cash out of their homes and are repaid when the borrower dies or moves.” The article goes on to state that other “inappropriate investments aimed at seniors are pools of life insurance policies, similar to the bundles of home mortgages that helped fuel the financial crisis”.

Sweepstakes Scams

Even “legitimate” sweepstakes companies have become masters at creating a web of deception. The headlines, the words, everything about their mailers are calculated to get people to buy products they wouldn’t otherwise buy.

American Family Publishers, a subsidiary of Time, Inc., blankets the country with sweepstakes entries to promote its magazine subscription offers. Sweepstakes companies prey on a generation that is very trusting. These mailings are carefully designed to look like official government documents. With convincing personal notes and endorsements by Ed McMahon and Dick Clark it’s difficult for anyone not to believe they’re a winner, especially with devices such as preauthorization of the manner of the prize payoff and associated publicity release forms. “How shall we deliver your money? In an armoured truck or straight into your bank account for the rest of your life?”

Phone Scams

A huge number of scams are telemarketing and phone related. There are so many that they cannot be contained in this article but if you would like to learn more about phone scams please look to the resources we’ve provided at the end of this article.

Prize Promotion Scams: fraudulent prize promoters have disguised themselves as legitimate businesses for years. Though both legitimate and fraudulent prize promoters offer prizes in connection with promotions of services or subscriptions to magazines, fraudulent prize promoters never deliver any worthwhile goods or services to consumers, let alone prizes, for their money.