Home > Financial Scams > Baby Boomer and Pensioner Scams

Baby Boomer and Pensioner Scams

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 7 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Baby Boomer Senior Scam Annuity

As the baby boomer population nears retirement age, the boomers are eager to make the most of life, and to invest their money so they can enjoy the years after work. Pensioners, too, with years of accumulated savings, want to make the most of them. That makes them prime targets for scammers, eager to take advantage of all this wealth. Certainly the sheer number of boomers with money to invest has had scammers drooling.

How It Works

You're offered a free seminar to learn about investments, and the best way to hang on to your money without giving much to the Inland Revenue. That in itself might be fine, because many older investors could use advice on investment and estate planning. However, the problem comes when the sales people running the seminar urge investors to liquidate their portfolios and put their money into other products - which they just happen to represent and which will save them on taxes, or perhaps offer a high-yield, no-risk return.

In America, these kinds of seminars have proved to be "fronts for (insurance) agents who want to sell annuities to seniors," according to an attorney. The problem is that they're generally ill-suited to people in their 60s or 70s who might need fast access to their money, as they usually impose a large penalty for withdrawing money before the end of a surrender period - sometimes as long as 15 years. The people really making money are the ones selling these annuities. In the case of one financial advisor, he didn't even invest the money in annuities but instead lost much of it in the commodities market or used it to support his family.

There might also be urging to invest in other ventures which are even less appropriate, and some that are wildly illegal, making money only for the scammers. Again, it's a bait and switch tactic at the seminars, urging boomers and seniors to cash in their portfolios and use them to make more money for a better retirement.

Part of the problem is that when older people are scammed, they lose a lifetime of savings, and don't have the time to earn more. That means a retirement spent in poverty that might have been spent with a cushion of wealth.

How To Avoid The Scam

  • Don't be fooled by a smooth, professional approach. Scammers are skilled at their job, and often excellent actors. A slick manner can be just a surface to lure you in.
  • Never make immediate decisions. If you're at a seminar and a salesperson wants a decision there and then, just walk away. Don't be a courtesy victim.
  • Investigate each investment opportunity fully before committing your money. Check out the company and its record, and also the programme they're offering to sell if it's right for you.
  • Make sure you're the one in charge of your money. Don't invest in a programme you don't understand fully. Have everything checked by an independent professional if you're not sure. Be certain you know the restrictions on withdrawing money.
  • Don't let fear influence your decision. Unscrupulous sales people will prey on fears of poverty and death.

What To Do If You're A Victim

If you've been a victim of one of these seminars, investing your money where it can do you no good, report it to the Financial Services Authority. They might well be illegal if you didn't receive full disclosure about all the conditions pertaining to your investment.

If you're the victim of a scam where your money is stolen, also inform the police. In both cases you should have copies of all the paperwork and notes on phone conversations.

In the vast majority of cases, financial advisors will offer advice that's best for your needs and desires. It's only the few - in many cases not qualified - who are after the scam angle. But if you do your homework before investing, you can avoid the problems.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • norman
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    just had a indian rang us on 0777657349 to tel us we have a problem with our box but as we do not have sky this must be a con
    25 July 2017
  • Ardent1000
    Re: Builder's Scams
    I am aware that a builder we employed has allegedly been telling people that he offered to put the work right for free and other mistruths. Just…
    11 July 2017
  • Mister
    Re: Builder's Scams
    George Michael, Jorghe Mihai, Romanian builder based in slough, London. Might claim to be Spanish. An evil person, with his friend Alexander, have…
    10 July 2017
  • Mason
    Re: Builder's Scams
    Re: Northumberland Trading Standards Northumberland Trading Standards are in my honest opinion the worst organisation I have ever come across,…
    8 March 2017
  • Janina
    Re: Safe Travel Gigolos
    I visit this site first time. Samun Santosh is a conman he lived in Portsmouth some years ago. He is still out there in Southampton or…
    3 November 2016
  • Ndox
    Re: Vishing Scam
    I " friend" sent me an image of some proof that he sent me a parcel from the UK. The parcel number is AEAC 0155408. I received a call presumably from…
    9 May 2016
  • Conmaur
    Re: The Bogus Travel Companies and How to Avoid Them
    I keep getting calls from a a company (travel something or other), they change the name frequently,…
    16 March 2016
  • SafeFromScams
    Re: Scams And Seniors
    Maureen - Your Question:My sister who is 85 has received a call and visit from eco green improvements, who say she can have replacement windows…
    10 February 2016
  • Maureen
    Re: Scams And Seniors
    My sister who is 85 has received a call and visit from eco green improvements, who say she can have replacement windows for her whole house just…
    8 February 2016
  • AustralianTraveller
    Re: Scammed by a Holiday Romance?
    The following is not a romance scam but a scam that was done to me in person last year in Europe when I came across an Australian…
    14 December 2015
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeFromScams website. Please read our Disclaimer.