Scam Alert. Avoiding Financial Scams Planning for Retirement.

After age 50, you become a target. Scammers know you have savings, and they want your money. There are real risks to your retirement, much less the scammers. Understanding the risks and being aware of scams is essential for peace-of-mind.

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Scam Alert. Avoiding Financial Scams Planning for Retirement.
4 Min Read May 25th, 2021 Updated:September 21st, 2022

Planning for retirement should be an exciting time in your life. You can finally take control and do all the things you ever hoped to in your spare time. It’s time to relax and take life a little easier. You’ve earned it. However, there are some serious risks around this time, too. Unscrupulous scammers will always be on the lookout for ways they can get their hands on your money.

Financial fraud is a real problem for seniors (actually, everyone is potentially at risk). You may have spent your whole working life preparing for your retirement, paying into a pension, and working hard to get a level of security. To have this taken away by senior scams can leave you in a desperate position. You may also be moving money around or looking for ways to invest and be smart with your cash; this poses even more risk for retirees.

Planning Financial Security for Retirement

Retirement involves products like annuities and other financial considerations like a pension. You may have prepared for years, paying into savings accounts and 401(k)s to draw upon when the time comes that you are not going to work anymore. Financial security may also come from owning property and other investments. Being smart with cash while you are working is a huge benefit.

Scammers Often Target Retirees 

Scammers often target retirees for a few reasons. They may be dealing with large sums of money and investing them in trying and getting potentially large returns. For example, a scammer might try to convince you to invest thousands of dollars into an “opportunity” that is no more than a Ponzi scheme. 

Scammers also target retirees as they tend to have their life savings behind them, ready to invest and grow. This may mean they are willing to part with cash more readily.

Top Scams to Watch For

What are some of the most prominent senior scams and schemes that target retirees? How do you know what to look out for? There are some common scams and methods that people use to try and target those who are retired, and you should keep a close eye on these to make sure that you don’t get caught up in the same way as so many other seniors.

●       Ponzi or pyramid schemes. They are often sold as an opportunity to make more money through “network marketing.” Sometimes you may be asked to sell things or get involved with recruiting; sometimes, it is just a case of investing. Be very cautious in this scenario.

●       Property investment scams. Some of these scams offer the chance to invest in a foreign country, but there are often no returns to be had, and you can lose your money entirely. Real estate scams can also be located in your home country, so you should never invest without getting the knowledge you need first.

●       Marriage scams. Some retired people are conned on dating apps or by people who are just looking for their money. Lonely older adults are particularly susceptible to this sort of scam.

●       “High yield” bank accounts. You might be offered a supposedly high-yield account. Often these come in the form of shady foreign accounts, and scammers claim you will be able to track your money and withdraw at any time. The truth is that your cash is being stolen. You might be told you can access accounts that are usually reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

How to Avoid Scams

The above list covers just some of the scams that are out there. There are so many that it is impossible to cover them all, and scammers and con artists keep becoming more sophisticated in their methods. So how can you avoid scams and stay safe?

● Don’t get sucked in by cold calls or emails. There’s often no way to verify who someone is when they contact you out of the blue.

● If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

● Only take financial advice from professionals and from people who you know you can trust. Financial industries are regulated.

● Take your time to make any decisions. Many scammers try to create a sense of urgency to get you to make a poor decision.

● Consider someone’s motivations. Why are they trying to get you to part with your money? The answer may lead you to prove that they are a scammer.

There are so many ways to be smart with your money, and if you work with trusted professionals and do your research, there is also no reason to get scammed. Being aware of the main methods people use to try to scam you makes it easier to identify when there is a real opportunity, or someone is just trying to get their hands on your cash.

If you find yourself a victim of an online scam, a reputation protection company may help you repair the damage.

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About the Author

David Lukic is an information privacy, security, and compliance consultant at The passion to make cyber security accessible and interesting has led David to share all the knowledge he has.

LTC News Contributor David Lukic

David Lukic

Contributor since May 26th, 2021

Editor's Note

There are plenty of scammers who can interfere with you enjoying a future successful retirement. However, there are also real risks you should also address. One of the biggest risks that can adversely impact your income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy would be long-term health care.

You cannot avoid your health changing as you get older. The same goes for your body. Compare your current self with your 25-year-old self. As you get older, you will see additional changes to your health, body, and mind. Many of these changes can result in you requiring help with daily activities or even supervision due to cognitive decline. Aging is real, and the risk of needing long-term care services is a real risk to your family and finances. 

Long-term care is both a cash flow problem and a family problem. Family caregivers, who often become default caregivers when there was no plan in place, face tremendous pressure and anxiety. Paid care is expensive, and these costs increase every year.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of long-term care costs where you live. Click here and find these costs now. 

The easy and affordable way to prepare for the costs and burdens of aging is with Long-Term Care Insurance. However, these policies are medically underwritten, so there is an urgency in obtaining coverage when you still enjoy relatively good health. Ideally, according to experts, the best time is when you are in your 40s or 50s.

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LTC NEWS offers multiple tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution. 

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Take a few minutes and read The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide to start your research.

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