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Pension scams are a threat to the financial security of senior citizens and other pensioners. You worked for the majority of your adult life, and when you retire, somebody steals it away from you. That is a sad state of affairs. Fortunately, pension scams are predictable and can be prevented. The following are 5 ways to prevent being scammed. We spoke with a Boston Criminal Lawyer to learn more about what we can do to prevent these scams..
Like the rest of the country, pension funds have rules and regulations laid down by the state. These derive from opportunities unique to the requirements of the state’s workers and pensioners. In recent years Massachusetts state budgets have cut into the pension funds of teachers. Teachers can expect to have pensions roughly equivalent to their contributions plus interest.
Beware of cold calls.
Most scams begin with cold calls. These could be actual cold canvassers knocking on doors, or even via phone calls. They inquire about any pensioners, financial information, etc. These cold calls are meant to create a profile. If you receive a call asking for the name of a pensioner, or a caller identifying themselves as representatives of an investment firm, drop the call.
Beware of free pension reviews
A pensioner can easily get a review from their pension fund. This is a free service. There is no need for a company to offer free pension reviews, unless they want to gather information about your pension.
Beware of offers for a better investment.
This advice works for all scams. If the investment firm offers a very high return, it is possible that they are fake. Pension funds are placed in safe investments which have secure high yields. At the very least, any other investment would be speculative in nature and might take away all your money. Some offer participation in long term real estate investments.
Beware of one-off investment opportunity
This is a variation of the above. These one-off investment opportunities typically involve participation in large funds to be invested offshore. Other red flags include short term return of investment, early access to your pension fund, and full withdrawal of pensions. As supposed one-off investments, the scammers also ask you to sign up immediately.
Beware of “lost pension” services.
These scammers usually say that your pension computation is wrong, and that you should have access to more money. They would be asking for your approval to do an audit of your pension. This is a paid service and your signature means that you agree to their terms. You would be lucky if they just took your payment for services rendered. In most instances, since they have your trust and access to your pension information, they can take all of your money afterwards.
A pension is a contentious subject. It is constantly under discussion between a person and the state, as well as between unions and the company they work for. Even the 401(K) funds are fraught with danger. The problem is usually a matter of trust between the fund management, and the pensioner. Pensioners also often wonder if their fund can sustain their living expenses after they retire. It is stressful enough to have to think about security, without worrying about scammers. When you catch a scammer, get in touch with a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for a better understanding of your options to recover your money.
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