After you have retired and are planning to spend the days in absolute bliss, you do not want to be bothered by unnecessary financial hazards. So what you do is get the help of a financial advisor or a broker who will look after your investments. There are many who will call themselves financial planners but you should be careful to avoid any kind of fraud.
How do you know that you are dealing with a dishonest financial planner?
Committing forgery is relatively easy with so many financial institutions cropping up in the U.S. It is you who have to be extra cautious about your money.
- Double check the referrals and the qualifications of the financial planner.
- In many cases, you will find that the brokers are not too keen to divulge any personal details. You should be aware of any such situation because good sense demands that you check the qualifications of the person concerned.
- In case of any investment planning, the most common form of fraud is deception of clients. With your life’s earnings at stake, make sure that your money is going in the right hands.
- As most of the states have stringent policies in case of licenses, checking the validity of the license would be a wise thing to do.
- Another thing that you should be aware of before making any investments is that the broker should not be a policy buyer as it will lead to conflict between the two.
States like Iowa have a tough Consumer Fraud Act which helps to protect the interests if the elders. There are many cases where the senior citizens do not receive the benefits as promised. You can easily avoid this kind of fraud if you are sure about the transactions and the company with which you are making the deals. Preferences should always be given to big financial institutions and companies as there are definitely lesser chances of being cheated.
At the time of investing, you may want to probe a little into the qualifications of the financial planner and get the following questions answered:
- Educational background and work experience of the planner
- Financial planning and other financial designations the planner holds
- Services the planner provides
- The planner’s basic approach to financial planning
- How the planner might address your particular needs
- Licenses to sell certain financial products, such as life insurance or securities
- Reference check
Other types of financial fraud
Financial fraud does not end with the deception of a financial planner. There are many other types of frauds and you should be knowledgeable and cautious in order to protect yourself against them.
This is a situation where a dishonest individual or organization will gather your personal details and use them in order to gain financial or other benefits, often leaving you the owner of that identity with a negative credit history and a large debt.
Credit card frauds:
This is a situation whereby your credit or debit card might be reproduced in order to use the credit balance for financial advantages. This crime can also occur when your card is lost or stolen and is used by third party for various purposes.
A check fraud might occur with altering of a check (payee or amount), theft of legitimate checks and subsequent alteration or conversion, duplication or counterfeiting of checks, and using false invoices to solicit illegitimate checks.
This kind of crime includes email scams and fake websites. These emails and websites give the feel of being authentic and trick people into revealing their personal details like social security number, etc. which are later tampered for personal gains.