Annuity Scams Targeted At Seniors
Seniors can often fall victim to financial elder abuse and scams; on average, this can cost an elder $140,500. This number, while certainly shocking, also exemplifies just how far someone is willing to go for their own gain. Some of this abuse is connected with annuities, better described as variants of life insurance. San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm have experience representing clients who have lost money on surrender charges and tax liability as a result of concealed annuity replacements and other types of annuity fraud. If you or someone you know is a victim of annuity fraud in San Francisco County or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at 415-441-8669.
Common Senior Scams
In order to avoid scammers or abusers, it helps to know what to look for and what the common traps are. In the world of annuity fraud, sometimes agents are not as qualified as they claim to be. That is, some agents attempt to sell products that they are not licensed for or explain and advocate for products that they simply do not understand due to the complexity of those products. In other instances, agents may offer “on the spot deals,” meaning that they are attempting to pressure you into purchasing a product under the ruse that the deal with disappear if you leave the office.
In terms of seniors specifically, one of the more common tricks is to sell seniors products that they can’t touch for 20+ years. Agents can push these products on potential customers who are 80 years old, meaning they would not be able to use their money until they are upwards of 100 years old. Under industry regulations and the law, such contracts may be found “unsuitable”, but that does not restrain agents from selling them. Some agents also commonly “churn” policies. This means that agents convince the customer to trade their existing annuity for another. This can lead to heavy surrender charges, possible tax liability, and also lead the customer to lose every benefit they had with their old policy in general. This practice also violates industry practice but occurs nonetheless.
The first step to protection seems obvious: ask for a third opinion on any proposed annuity transaction or purchase. No amount of information is too much, and it is important to fully understand what you are signing up for before putting your name on that line. Another very easy trick for avoiding scams is to research the agent attempting to sell you the products. Be sure that they are licensed to sell in the State of California and also that they are able to sell the specific products they are pushing on you. Too many seniors fall victim to financial abuse and scams every year, and prevention is the best and easiest way to keep yourself—and your money— safe.
If you or a loved one been the victim of annuity fraud in San Francisco County, or in any California county, contact the Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
Although we are not in any way suggesting that the below companies have engaged in any type of fraud or other wrongdoing, some of the leading providers of annuities in California are:
AXA Equitable Life Insurance
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Forethought Life Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Lincoln Benefit Life Company
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company