According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 17 percent of Americans 65 and older, have already been the victims of financial exploitation.
A new study by the AARP Fraud Watch Network reveals that Americans who lose money to fraud typically exhibit a higher degree of confidence investing in unregulated investments and tend to trade more aggressively than other investors. The fraud watch network interviewed 200 victims of investment fraud and conducted 800 interviews with regular investors for this study that was commissioned a year earlier.
There has been a change in the way investors save for retirement. People are now more used to taking charge of their retirement since traditional pension plans have declined and technology has made it easier for average investors to enroll in trading and retirement accounts. The AARP study quotes Shadel, their lead researcher as saying “decline in traditional pensions has prompted millions of relatively inexperienced Americans to take on the job of investing their own money.” Technology has also made it easier for scammers to reach investors.
This study unlike the previous ones that primarily focused on demographic factors common to victims like age, sex and literacy, takes a look at shared psychographic traits as well in past investment fraud victims.
Behavioral Mindset- Victims often valued wealth accumulation and were responsive to targeted sales pitched commercials. They also found themselves frequently making investment decisions and changes.
Demographics– As found in older studies, a higher percentage of victims are found to be male, older, and married. A high percentage of people are solicited by someone in their affinity.
AARP’s Fraud Watch Network has a quiz that tests different dimensions of your personality to determine if you are at a high risk of being defrauded. Investors were also asked to share investor protection tips:
- Investing only with registered advisors and investments
- Making investment decisions based on ads and telemarketing calls
- Making an investment decision when you are under stress or pressure
- Limiting the amount of personal information you share
There are a lot of free resources like the AARP Fraud Watch Network or FINRA Hotline where investors can reach for help or speak with volunteers. Our lawyers at Malecki Law have helped several victims of financial fraud recover millions of dollars in losses.