We’ve all been scammed. Maybe you receive a phone call. The caller claims to be your credit card company and tells you that your account had been compromised — they ask for your card number and social security number to “access your account.” Next thing you know, they are spending your money on designer handbags. And sometimes, fraud can threaten your investments, and your financial future.

Recently AARP participated in a “safe investing seminar,” sponsored by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, where we learned that these con men often target seniors because we often have assets like a home and savings account. And unfortunately, investment fraud is pretty common in New Jersey, and often comes from people or groups you know. Before investing with a new investment professional, AARP encourages investors to download and use the “Check Before You Invest” form from the Bureau of Securities (www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/bos/) to ensure they are getting the right information and asking the right questions, and to ensure that the investment adviser is licensed or authorized to sell the product they are offering.

Dave Mollen

AARP New Jersey State President

101 Rockingham Row, Forrestal

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