Are some people more susceptible to investment fraud than others?
The results of a survey of fraud victims released this week by AARP Fraud Watch Network shows that those who fall prey to fraud have certain behaviors and mindsets in common.
For one thing, survey participants reported that they preferred unregulated investments, valued wealth accumulation as a measure of success in life, were open to sales pitches and were willing to take risks, and described themselves as ideologically conservative.
In contrast to regular investors in the study, victims told researchers they more frequently received targeted phone calls and emails from brokers, made five or more investment decisions each year and were open to unsolicited telephone and email sales pitches.
The study also found that higher percentages of victims were older, male, married and military veterans.
The Fraud Watch Network survey, conducted in August and September, included interviews with more than 200 known victims of investment fraud and 800 interviews with members of the general investing public.