Investment fraud and all forms of financial fraud can severely impact your finances and has left some without a house to call home. You may think fraud can’t happen to you, but you just might be the victim they’re targeting. According to The American Psychological Association, the average person who gets scammed in investment fraud is an educated, white man in his 40s or 50s who’s under pressure financially.
Many middle-aged men worry about the cost of tuition for their children or whether they’re saving enough for retirement. This kind of stress can lead to falling prey to financial cons, especially if he has little to no experience in the stock market.
Middle-aged men aren’t the only demographic that is often targeted by fraudulent stock brokers, Ponzi schemes and consumer frauds. Others include:
- Younger Adults: Men and women between 18 and 25 have a 77 percent chance of being a victim of financial fraud, particularly scam artists who promise to drastically improve their life such as a to-good-to-be-true weight loss product.
- Older Adults in Florida: As the baby boomer generation gets older, they slowly lose their ability to recognize a liar and are 44 percent more likely to fall victim to financial frauds such as real estate fraud, and statistically, this age group has more to lose. Older adults living in Florida have an even higher chance of getting scammed—approximately 1 in 100 according to a 2014 24/7 Wall St. report.
- Avid Internet Users: Frequent use of the internet may not make you more susceptible to fraud, but you are more likely to be contacted by someone trying to scam you. Make sure you avoid clicking on pop-up advertisements as much as possible.
- Those with a Lot of Debt: Men and women with a significant amount of debt, such as student loans, high mortgage or credit card debt are ideal victims for all types of investment fraud. Debt consolidation schemes are commonly used to reel victims in and convince them to invest.
- Those Feeling Lonely, Isolated or Desperate: Anyone trying to commit fraud is going to use your emotions to get the best of you. Men and women who suffer from depression or feel desperate financially are more susceptible to become victims of fraud. A 2014 AARP report shows 66 percent of investment fraud victims felt secluded.
If you fall into one of the categories listed above, be especially diligent in your investment endeavors and do your research, but this applies to everyone. Scammers and con artists know how to spot someone who will listen or doesn’t seem to know about banking procedures. Financial fraud can happen to anyone, including you.
If you or someone you know was the victim of stock market fraud or investment fraud, please contact our attorneys in Orlando today at (407) 712-7300 for a free case evaluation. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter serves clients nationwide.