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How Social Isolation Increases the Risk of Investment Fraud

Social Isolation and the Prevalence of Investment Misconduct

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-four adults over 65 are considered socially isolated — and the pandemic has exponentially contributed to this common problem among seniors. An AARP social isolation study specifically related to the pandemic reports that two-thirds of adults surveyed are experiencing social isolation.

While there are many disadvantages for seniors living in isolation, such as health risks, depression, and anxiety, isolation is also a contributor to the financial exploitation and of senior investors. Here’s why.

How Does Isolation Put Older Investors at Risk of Misconduct?

According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) research, more people are at risk of being victimized if they are isolated and have no one to talk to or advocate for them regarding investment decisions. Since social isolation can reduce cognitive capacities, decision-making skills can be diminished, leaving them more vulnerable to financial misconduct and fraud.

Isolated seniors will often turn to the internet as a way to interact with others socially. They can become increasingly reliant on services such as online banking, shopping, and making electronic payments. Although these are conveniences, the vulnerability lies within pop-up messages from scammers luring seniors to interact and give out personal and financial information.

Know the Warning Signs of Investment Misconduct?

It may be challenging to identify if someone is being scammed or if investment misconduct is going on. If you have a senior friend or family member in your life, watch out for these red flags:

  • Dealing with unregistered or unlicensed sellers - before making any transactions, it’s critical to verify their status, history, and professional background by using the following tools:
  • Brokers promising high rates of return, with minimum to no risks - if it sounds too good to be true, beware. The promise of guaranteed returns is a serious red flag.
  • Brokers who push for a quick purchase - if you are being pressured to make a purchase quickly without having time to research the investment, leave the “opportunity” on the table and walk away.

How Victims of Investment Misconduct Can Get Help.

Isolated seniors are particularly prone to brokers taking advantage of their vulnerable situation and can cause devastating financial losses for victims. Not only can this make someone feel hopeless, but it can also be emotionally draining. Know that you are not alone, and our team of attorneys at Meyer Wilson is here to help you hold financial institutions and brokers accountable for their negligent actions and recover your losses.

To learn if you are eligible for FINRA arbitration, call Meyer Wilson at (800) 738-1960 or contact us online to speak confidentially with our caring lawyers today.

Sources:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

AARP - The Pandemic Effect: A Social Isolation Report

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

The information contained in The Firm’s posts on its blog, fraud alerts, investigations or elsewhere on the site is based upon information obtained from other sources including, but not limited to, news outlets and federal, state, and regulatory agency filings. All suspects and subjects of postings herein are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law or administrative action and any and all crimes are alleged until a court or regulatory agency finds otherwise .

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