Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, is warning investors to beware of attempts to bilk them of their hard-earned funds that can be especially common around the holidays.
Beyond that, Galvin points to holiday visits with friends and family as opportunities to “check in on loved ones and to intervene if you spot any red flags of financial exploitation.”
Among the hazards of the season are affinity fraud; senior financial fraud, abuse and exploitation; tax scams and government impersonators; the “grandparent scam”; and the need to be wary when evaluating one’s own finances as an end-of-year checkup, lest the investor be taken in by phony investment schemes in the guise of new opportunities.
Affinity fraud occurs when scammers target people who can persuade others to invest in a scheme that’s supposed to be legitimate. However, such schemes just sucker people in, often by Ponzi schemes that pay later investors with the proceeds from earlier ones — but with far smaller payouts than were promised.