Markets

Bad Brokers? They're Still Out There

The wolf of Wall Street is still on the prowl, and he has found new ways to fleece retirees.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged operators of two Long Island, N.Y., financial-services firms with scamming investors, many of them seniors, out of more than $10 million. The brokers used high-pressure tactics and false information to persuade victims to buy thinly traded securities in dubious and shady ventures.

Boiler rooms—call centers where sales reps hawk investments—gained notoriety in the 1990s, but they’re just as prevalent today, says Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. Although they still rely heavily on cold calling, crooks have added social media and e-mail to their arsenal of marketing tactics.

The eight-year-long bull market has only made it easier to scam people, Schock says. When coupled with low interest rates, promises of high-earning opportunities can sound too good to pass up, especially for retirees.

If someone pressures you to make an immediate decision, it’s likely a scam. A coId call from someone you don’t know is also a red flag, Schock says. Investors should ask themselves, “If it’s such a great investment, why are they calling me?” Truly great investments, she says, sell themselves.

Most Popular

12 Costs of Owning a Cat
how to save money

12 Costs of Owning a Cat

Housecats may be known for their aloofness and low-maintenance attitude, but they're not cheap. Here's what you can expect to spend if you plan on ado…
October 16, 2020
How to Pick the Right Medicare Plans for You
Healthy Living on a Budget

How to Pick the Right Medicare Plans for You

As you're signing up for Medicare, you must learn the basics of Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and even doug…
September 30, 2020
26 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House
real estate

26 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House

As a home seller, you don't want to let the small -- or big -- fixes around your house that have added up over the years sabotage your bottom line dur…
October 16, 2020

Recommended

Bonds: 10 Things You Need to Know
Investing for Income

Bonds: 10 Things You Need to Know

Bonds can be more complex than stocks, but it's not hard to become a knowledgeable fixed-income investor.
July 22, 2020
The Best Vanguard Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers
mutual funds

The Best Vanguard Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers

Vanguard funds account for a third of the 100 most popular 401(k) retirement products. We rank Vanguard's best actively managed funds, including its t…
October 14, 2020
Stock Market Holidays in 2020
Markets

Stock Market Holidays in 2020

Is the stock market open today? Take a look at which days the NYSE, Nasdaq and bond markets take off in 2020.
October 12, 2020
Is the Stock Market Open on Columbus Day 2020?
Markets

Is the Stock Market Open on Columbus Day 2020?

Columbus Day (increasingly known as Indigenous Peoples' Day) is a federal holiday, but not for much of Wall Street. Here are the stock market and bond…
October 10, 2020