Headline reads Pyramid Scheme Exposed under handcuffs

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Are you vulnerable to investment fraud?

Americans lose tens of billions of dollars each year to investment fraud schemes. A new AARP survey identifies eight risk factors that predict who is most likely to be defrauded:

  1. Male gender
  2. High annual trading frequency (5 or more a year)
  3. Frequent solicitations by phone, email, and regular mail
  4. Frequent remote investing in response to TV, email, or phone calls
  5. A mindset that wealth is an important measure of success in life
  6. A mindset that unregulated investments are more profitable
  7. A world view that is described as conservative
  8. Older age

While no one risk factor causes someone to be scammed, the research shows that the more these eight risk factors are present, the greater the chances the investor will fall prey.

Are you at risk? Take AARP's Investment Fraud Vulnerability Quiz to find out.

Heed these do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Invest with registered advisors and investments
  • Do: Put yourself on the Do Not Call list
  • Do: Get a telephone call blocking system to screen out potential scammers
  • Do: Limit the amount of personal information you give to sales persons until you verify their credentials
  • Don't: Make an investment decision based solely on a TV ad, a telemarketing call, or an email
  • Don't: Make an investment decision when you are under stress