Seniors and Elders Remain Alert for Annuity & Insurance Scams

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In the world of investment, seniors and elders are prime targets for financial scams. To protect yourself, read on to learn about the different schemes.

Seniors and elders are the main targets for insurance and annuity scams. Scammers may set up fake insurance companies or loan seniors and elders money to invest in insurance using fake applications so when the senior or elder dies, the scammer receives all the money. Read the following list to learn more about other types of frauds:

Fake Insurance Company – seniors and elders should
always double check to make sure the insurance company they are putting their money into actually exists. Ask friends and family or go online to check if the company is licensed in your state.

Paying the Agent - Checks should always be made out to the insurance company, and never the agent or agency. Also watch out for sending checks to P.O. Boxes.

Twisting – If the senior or elder has just been convinced by an agent to invest in expensive annuities that requires them to hold onto the annuity for 10-15 years or else pay a high surrender charge, then “twisting” has just occurred and the senior or elder will eventually be left with a virtually worthless investment while the agent received a large commission. Another scenario involves an agent convincing an elder or senior to switch from one annuity with one company to another annuity with another company.

Churning – Occurs when an agent offers seniors and elders a “better” insurance policy than their pre-existing one, but the “better” policy is actually the same as the pre-existing one. Sometimes an upgrade is legitimate. However, seniors and elders need to make sure that the better policy is, in fact, better.

Bad Advice – Don’t just rely on the agent’s words. Seniors and elders should find out for themselves whether or not the insurance policy or annuity is the right one for them.
Too Good To Be True – It probably is.

Pressure or Complex Information – If an offer is valid for a limited period and seniors and elders have to sign now or else lose out, the better choice is not to sign. Seniors and elders should always think the investment through before buying. Also, if the information is complex, confusing, and difficult to understand, that right there may be a scam.

Some known sellers of annuities are Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Principal Life Insurance Company, Jackson National Life, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Aviva Life and Annuity Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, Genworth Life Insurance Company, Midland National Life Insurance Company, Bankers Life and Casualty Co, North American Company for L&H Ins, Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and Guggenheim Life and Annuity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Evans Law Firm, Inc.
Ms. Evans is with Evans Law Firm, Inc. in San Francisco and practices in the area of consumer fraud, insurance and elder financial and physical abuse cases, as well as toxic torts. Ms. Evans has represented public entities in private attorney general actions, has extensive experience in complex civil cases and was undefeated in jury trials as a former deputy city attorney in San Francisco. Ms. Evans serves on the Board of Directors for Consumer Attorneys of California and is the first Chair of the Womens’ Caucus. She also serves on the Board of Governors for Public Justice, and the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA) and is Co-Chair of the Class Action Litigation Group for AAJ.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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