West Palm Beach Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults Attorney
Vulnerable adults are those who because of age or a disability are not competent to make sound investment decisions. Here in Florida, where we have so many retirees, those who sell investment products need to be especially vigilant when attempting to sell products or investment-related services to those vulnerable people who by virtue of their disability or decline may have impaired mental faculties. Unfortunately, there are always a few greedy people in the investment industry who zero in on seniors and others as easy marks for fraud.
According to the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation, in 2014 about one in every twenty seniors who were served reported having lost money to some type of financial fraud. The research found that people over age 65 are 34 percent more likely to fall victim to investment fraud than those in their middle years.
Types of Scams Aimed at Seniors
Seniors are targeted by scammers because they may have substantial assets accumulated over a lifetime, but it is not only the wealthy who are targeted. Less affluent seniors have been wiped out of their life long savings after being enticed into making fraudulent investments. Some of the types of fraud often perpetrated on vulnerable adults include, among others:
- Ponzi schemes
- Viaticle settlements
- Promissory notes
- Unregistered securities
Why Seniors Are Targeted for Investment Fraud
Scamsters get away with this fraud aimed at seniors all too often. The FBI reports that older people are less likely to report a fraud, either because they don’t know where to report it, because they are embarrassed at having been taken in, because they worry about family members taking control of their finances, or because they don’t even realize that they have been defrauded. According to one estimate, only one in every 44 cases of financial fraud are reported.
The con artist/investment advisors often contact elderly people by telephone; however, nowadays, the internet is becoming the prevalent means of making contact, as more and more seniors are now online. Unsolicited phone calls and emails tell these vulnerable folks that they have been chosen to be included among a small group of investors for a lucrative investment offer that is not available to the general public. The fraudster then goes on to tout the huge returns that can be expected. Another common means of roping in the elderly is to offer a free investment seminar—with a free meal at a local restaurant for those interested in low risk, high return investments.
Get Legal Help When an Elderly Family Member Has Been Defrauded
Exploitation of the elderly and other vulnerable adults is illegal and when cases are discovered, those responsible should be prosecuted criminally as well as being held civilly liable for their victims’ damages. If you or a member of your family has lost money to any kind of investment fraud, including one specifically aimed at seniors and other vulnerable groups, call the Boca Raton, Florida, law firm of securities attorney Todd A. Zuckerbrod and tell him your story. He will answer your questions and discuss your legal options with you in a free consultation. If you decide to move against the person or company that defrauded you, Todd will provide you with the highly skilled legal advocacy that has produced positive results for so many of his clients.
Todd has nearly three decades of experience in various aspects of securities and investment law, including working as an attorney the New York Stock Exchange, as in-house counsel with Merrill Lynch, as outside counsel with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig and as the general counsel of a brokerage firm. before going into private practice. His committed, compassionate, and results-oriented approach to his practice of law has helped numerous clients recover money that has been taken from them by various types of investment fraud. You’ve worked too hard for your money to let it be taken without a fight. Call Todd A. Zuckerbrod today.