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Protecting yourself from securities fraud

It's a mere 3-hour drive from Lexington to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The city is on the historical Trail of Tears, and it has a beautiful Downtown Renaissance District. If that's not enough to get you to jump in your car, consider that next week, Hopkinsville is hosting Senior Scam Jam, according to a TV station there. It's a free workshop for seniors on financial fraud protection.

If a 200-mile drive to attend the event sounds like a bit much, we have some tips on how to protect yourself from securities fraud and broker misconduct -- and you can stay right where you are right now.

“Financial exploitation of the elderly can be as devastating as physical abuse,” said Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in a statement about the fraud-prevention workshop.

Conway makes a good point. It's possible for anyone of any age to lose their life's savings in securities fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission has some tips for seniors who are considering making substantial investments.

  • The first tip is one we've all heard before: "if it sounds too good to be true, it is." The SEC warns that if you are promised substantially higher returns than average, beware. These kinds of investments are "highly risky," the SEC says, and could mean you'll lose your money.
  • Another red flag to watch for: a promise of "guaranteed returns." All investments have a degree of risk. If you're "guaranteed" high returns, understand that means you are in high-risk territory.
  • Resist high-pressure: securities scams often come with high-pressure tactics. They want your money now, rather than after you have had time to think and to investigate their claims.

Sometimes no matter how cautious we are, no matter how careful, we learn that risks and rewards have been misrepresented. Or that a broker is "churning" -- buying and selling with your account simply to create commissions for himself or herself.

A Lexington law firm experienced in securities arbitration and litigation helps you protect your rights and your assets. The attorneys of Mihalek Law assess your circumstances and take action to pursue your best options.

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