A recent annuity fraud case in California illustrates the danger that annuities can pose to people’s finances, especially when it comes senior citizens. An insurance agent in Palm Desert was recently sentenced to more than nine years in prison and ordered to pay $3.4 million in restitution for an annuities scam.
The agent had convinced some victims to surrender annuities and investment products with the promise of higher returns through new investments and conned other victims into giving him money to invest for them. Scams like this which target the elderly are a form of elder financial abuse. The victims can lose an important part of their savings late in life, which can be overwhelming for them. That’s why it is necessary to protect the seniors against these scams.
Annuities are not always a threat to consumers’ financial assets; they can bring financial security when they are well-structured and adapted to the customer’s needs. However, improper annuities can be a disaster and can tie up seniors’ funds for years or even decades, say annuities fraud lawyers.
Most of time, seniors are the target of annuities’ salesmen who are not scrupulous. Seniors are targeted because they are more vulnerable and often wealthier than the general population.
Consumers should go to Certified Financial Planners when it comes to annuities rather than professional insurance sellers. They can usually offer a broader variety of annuity products, and are required to take a certification exam and adhere to ethical standards. ConsumerAffairs and the Financial Planning Association websites are good resources to find more information about these professionals.
Annuities fraud lawyers say that using a random insurance agent or seller found via the phone or internet is usually a bad idea. Seniors should choose a certified and ethical financial advisor, as annuities are complicated. They should also look for some advice from their relatives and friends, or from professionals such as attorneys and accountants before purchasing any annuity product.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles financial elder abuse cases, including annuity fraud lawsuits. If you have purchased an annuity policy and want to know if it was a suitable investment for you, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.