4 Common Steps used by the Professional Predator to Target Seniors
Step One – Get a captive audience
Professional financial predators must first get a captive audience of willing seniors together. Watch out for the “Free Lunch” or “Free Seminar” where you are promised free and important information on “Living Trusts” or “Reverse Mortgages.”
Step Two – Find Out What the Senior Owns
The next step is to find out what the senior owns in terms of property, savings, annuities, equity in home and other assets. This is accomplished by handing out questionnaires at the “Free Lunch” or “Free Seminar” that will be used to determine which attendees will later be targeted for financial exploitation at a sales presentation.
Step Three – Create a Need to Move the Assets
The financial predator needs to create a need for the senior to move his or her assets or buy and expensive insurance product, like an annuity that pays the predator a huge commission. This is usually accomplished by creating fear and insecurity about one’s life savings. The scammer will tell you he will “protect your estate” and “secure it for your children,” You might be told that “you will go into a nursing home and outlive your money,” or need to “avoid probate,” or “qualify for Medi Cal,” or a host of other doom and gloom scenarios to create enough fear and concern to induce you to comply with the predator’s wishes.
Step Four – Liquidate the Senior’s Assets and Move them to Commission-based Products
The final step is to close the deal by having the senior move his or her money somewhere where the predator earns a commission. Watch out for IRA Rollovers, Direct Cash Purchases, Reverse Mortgages, Consulting Fees for Assistance in Qualify for a Government Product, or the purchase of an Expensive Annuity. All of these transactions can be used for an inappropriate and unsuitable purpose.
Important Rule of Thumb:
Have all financial decisions evaluated by a trusted advisor who does not stand to earn a dime if you decide to purchase one of these products.