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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Avoid Fraud - Investing Tips for Older Investors

Tomorrow (June 15), is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Unfortunately, recent studies suggest that seniors lose billions each year due to financial abuse.

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is committed to protecting seniors from financial abuse through both financial education and enforcement.

To help protect seniors, here are some steps we came up with that seniors can take to protect themselves from investment fraud.

Protect yourself from investment fraud
  1. Ask questions and verify licenses
    If you’re being solicited to buy an investment, ask questions about the investment. Scam artists tend to get antsy when they are being asked questions.

    Questions to ask:
    1) Are you and your firm registered with DFI?
    2) Are you and your firm registered with the SEC and FINRA?
    3) Is this investment registered with the SEC or my DFI?

    Verify the answer to these questions by contacting the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
  2. Talk to someone before investing
    Be extremely skeptical if the person promoting the deal says, “Don’t tell anyone else about this special deal!” A legitimate investment professional won’t ask you to keep secrets. Before handing over your money, talk to someone you trust or a certified/licensed financial professional.
  3. Take your name off solicitation lists
    Tired of receiving solicitations? Take your name off of telemarketing and junk mail lists

    Telemarketing Calls
    or call toll-free (888) 382-1222

    Direct Mail and Email Offers

    Credit Card Offers
    or call toll-free (888) 567-8688
  4. Know the common tactics thieves useScam artists typically bombard their victims with a variety of influence tactics. Learn to spot the most common tactics used.

    FINRA: Common Persuasion Tactics Used
  5. Develop a refusal script
    Develop and practice a refusal script. That way when you receive a telephone call you can quickly hang up the phone. Simply tell the person, “I am sorry, I am not interested.”
If you have questions or need assistance, contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334) or