As we are seeing more and more stories in the news about senior investors being the victims of investment fraud—some of them losing millions in one fell swoop—we have to ask why. As investment fraud attorneys, one thing we often hear from our elderly clients after the fact is that the fraudster “seemed so nice” or that “it was just hard to say no to him.”
Many of our clients look back and can’t believe they fell for the scam, but, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Even if you suspect a scam, here are some reasons why it can be difficult to say no:
- “I could miss out on this opportunity.” A lot of investment scams work because they dangle an enticing opportunity in front of investors, but those investors must “act now” or miss out.
- “I don’t want to burn any bridges.” Even if an opportunity smells a little fishy, many seniors see the fraudster as an expert who has connections—and sometimes even see the fraudster as a friend. It makes it difficult to risk that relationship, which adds additional pressure.
- “ I don’t want to cause a fight.” No one wants to make a scene or get into a fight. It’s amazing what people will do in the short term to try to avoid conflict.
- “I just wanted to help.” You want to help and be friendly, especially after a fraudster has spent some time and money buying you lunch and attending your son’s birthday party. Scam artists are masters of manipulation, and they know that providing gifts and companionship puts pressure on you to reciprocate when they make a pitch.
- “I don’t want to seem rude.” Again, if a scam artist has become a “friend,” then you don’t want to be rude by saying you’re not interested. If you’ve been asked several times, it can become increasingly difficult to decline an offer…and you feel like you’re the one making it into an “issue.” Remember that standing up for yourself isn’t rude; it’s survival.
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If you have lost money to securities fraud, stock scams, Ponzi schemes, or any other kind of investment fraud, contact an experienced Ponzi scheme lawyer today. We look forward to answering your questions and explaining your rights in a completely free consultation.
Recovering Losses Caused by Investment Misconduct.