New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Investment Scams Reportedly On The Rise

New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio — Tuesday, June 1, 2010

By Martin Di Caro

Consumer watchdog groups say investment scams are on the rise that target aging investors worried their nest eggs may not last through retirement. The Wall Street Journal reported that nearly half of investor complaints are made by people 60 and older, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association.

New Jersey watchdogs say two groups are at risk.

"Seniors who have already retired, who have seen their investments sharply decreasing, whether its money invested in stocks, IRAs or mutual funds, they are getting panicked because they also see their taxes increasing and other costs rising so they are ready to jump at almost anyone and any scam," said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action. "We're also seeing folks who are not yet retired, but are in their late 50s, early 60s who want to retire, and they are also being aggressively marketed for some of these scam products."

She said no one should accept any unsolicited offer in the mail or on the phone. She said scams requiring an investment of home equity credit are very common now.

"Anything like that where they are going to be dealing with their home or their mortgage, they should clearly go to a free HUD certified counseling agency," she said. "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true. So if anybody is promising huge returns on investments folks should be really wary of getting involved."

Salowe-Kaye said you may also check with the state to find out if any complaints have been filed against a company that is making you an offer.

The top 10 most common investment fraud practices can be found at www.njsecurities.gov.

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