Aging in America: Steering seniors clear of scams

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DALLAS — A nice nest egg and a trusting character combine to make seniors an enticing target for scams.

At the Edgemere retirement community in Dallas, seniors are regularly counseled in financial self-defense. Experts say seniors are particularly vulnerable to telemarketers and junk mail.

Financial advisors say family members should:

• Place elderly loved ones on the government’s "do not call" list

• Sign them up for the "opt-out" mailing list to limit postal solicitations

• Discourage seniors from attending those "free" financial planning luncheons

"I always tell them, leave your credit card and leave your checkbook at home and go enjoy a good meal," said Bob Guess, a financial planner who wrote a book called "Some Rob You with a Pen: A Guide to Protecting Your Assets."

"At most of these luncheons, you’re going to be dealing with someone that’s not a financial planner; they’re not an estate planner; they used bogus designations behind their plan; they have nothing to do with financial planning," Guess said.

Experts also say seniors should be encouraged to talk over any potential investment with a trusted relative or financial planner before signing on the dotted line.


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