Saturday, July 13, 2024

Key Strategies to Safeguard Against Retirement Scams

Retirement is supposed to be a time of well-deserved relaxation, travel, and pursuing your long-held dreams. But it’s worrying just how easily this chapter in life, which many of us eagerly anticipate, can be tarnished by the threat of retirement scams. Scammers are known to target vulnerable people nearing or in retirement, promising unrealistic returns or easy access to their hard-earned savings.

Justine Underhill, Chief Marketing Officer at Mirador Living, a company that helps people find their dream modern senior living community, warns, “Scammers prey on the hopes and anxieties people have about retirement. They may promise guaranteed high returns or a luxurious lifestyle funded by a quick investment. It’s essential to be aware of the red flags and take steps to protect your financial security.”

So, how can you identify – and more importantly, avoid – retirement scams? Knowledge is power. You need to be aware of the common tactics used by scammers, the red flags to watch out for, and the resources you can access to help you make informed decisions about your retirement savings.

The Deceptive Landscape of Retirement Scams

Scammers exploit numerous different tactics to get people on their side.

We’ve seen scammers promoting free lunch seminars, seemingly harmless events that promise valuable retirement planning advice, but the real goal is to pitch you on a high-risk investment.

Then there are the more common scams involving unsolicited calls and emails. These are deceptively easy to fall for, as scammers often impersonate legitimate financial institutions or government agencies, sometimes using fear (“Your account has been frauded”) to muddle your thinking. 

It’s common for scammers to create a sense of urgency, pressuring you to make a quick decision before the offer expires, and again, this is to prevent you from having the time to think rationally. 

Safeguarding Your Retirement Savings

You need to do everything you can to protect yourself from retirement scams. This includes: 

  • Do Your Research: That means thoroughly researching any company you plan to invest with, as well as the investment product, and the person making the offer.
  • Verify Credentials: Make sure the person advising or warning you is registered with a reputable organization like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Seek Impartial Advice: If you need to, reach out to a financial advisor who is a fiduciary, meaning they’re legally obligated to act in your best interests.
  • Never Share Personal Information: Don’t disclose your Social Security number, bank account details, or other sensitive information over the phone or email to anyone whose identity you can’t verify. 
  • Don’t Be Pressured: You don’t have to make a quick decision on the spot. Take your time to research and think carefully before making a commitment.

Trusted Resources

If you want to learn more about retirement scams and make informed financial decisions, these two resources are a good place to start:

Retirement should be a time of peace and enjoyment – don’t let a scam take that away from you. Make sure to educate yourself on scammer tactics and, when it comes to any financial decision, think before you act. Remember, knowledge is power.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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