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Are You Counted in this 7,300,000 number?
Old 07-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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Are You Counted in this 7,300,000 number?

I find it difficult to believe that any of the regulars that post here would/could fall for these investing scams, but I see articles like this all of the time. I mean, 7,300,000 older folks is a hell of a lot of people. Seems like an unrealistically high number of folks, but when you look at the words "high fees", that would surely cover a lot of load mutual fund customers. So maybe it's correct...

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One out of five Americans over the age of 65 has been the victim of a financial scam, according to the Washington-based Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit that promotes shareholder education. That means more than 7.3 million seniors have been taken advantage of financially through inappropriate investments, high fees, or fraud, which insurer MetLife says comes at a cost of more than $2.6 billion a year. "Older people are being targeted because, as 1930s robber Willie Sutton said when asked why he robs banks, 'that's where the money is,'" says Kathleen Quinn, executive director of the National Adult Protective Services Assn. in Springfield, Ill.

Many of today's scammers have a particularly good understanding of their victims--because the fraudsters themselves are of retirement age, if not exactly retired. More elderly con artists than ever seem to be preying on retirees, perhaps because senior citizens put more confidence in someone their age, says Denise Voigt Crawford, president of the North American Securities Administrators Assn. "It's astounding that you can't even trust older people anymore," Crawford says.
scams-a-sucker-retires-every-minute: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
I find it difficult to believe that any of the regulars that post here would/could fall for these investing scams, but I see articles like this all of the time. I mean, 7,300,000 older folks is a hell of a lot of people. Seems like an unrealistically high number of folks, but when you look at the words "high fees", that would surely cover a lot of load mutual fund customers. So maybe it's correct...
scams-a-sucker-retires-every-minute: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
I would answer yes because of fees. With ETFs and Vanguard low cost funds, the threshold for "unreasonable high fees" is pretty low. Also, there have been a number of settlements lately from the early "naughts" so they are fresh in my mind. Plus,

The question:
Quote:
Q22: Have you or your spouse ever been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or outright fraud?

Base = 590 respondents age 65 or older.
IPT Elder Fraud Survey | Investor Protection Trust
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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Yes, I doubt if more than 1% or 2% have sent money to Nigerian princes.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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One question. How many people 65+ have variable annuities? Especially in their IRAs? Probably not 7M, but quite a few I'm sure.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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I wonder how many folks of that age a. Understand that they may have been scammed, and b. would admit that they were taken advantage of...
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:21 AM   #6
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Oh, we are all being scammed, all the time, by something or another -- cable/satellite tv and cell phone service comes instantly to mind. What's the big deal? The Scammers need to eat too. What's the phrase I'm looking for? Caveat Emptor?

I, also, developed a picture, in my mind, of 10-million-dollar salaries that some enjoy as I wrote the above.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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How many of us can claim that we have not been scammed, either directly or indirectly through mutual funds, to invest in these financial companies that blew up like Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers? Of course there were many more that survived, thanks to bail outs. Yes, they paid very nice dividends to lure people in, didn't they? What a scam!
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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I think my mother was taken advantage of on a reverse mortgage a few years ago. It was all done without my knowledge. Pretty sad.
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