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Survey of CT Residents Shows Vulnerability to Investment Fraud

The AARP Fraud Watch Network says investing without checking up on the reputation of your broker or financial adviser is a gamble. And yet, a survey of Connecticut investors reveals few have taken that step. Credit: cohdra/morguefile.com.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network says investing without checking up on the reputation of your broker or financial adviser is a gamble. And yet, a survey of Connecticut investors reveals few have taken that step. Credit: cohdra/morguefile.com.
July 20, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. - It's good news that the majority of adults living in Connecticut are making financial investments. But a new survey finds most don't bother to check out their financial adviser before handing over their cash.

Erica Michalowski, community outreach director for AARP Connecticut, says the problem is, many investors believe they know enough about what they're doing - when in fact, they have little understanding of how to protect themselves from investment fraud.

"Just over six in 10 of all Connecticut adults age 18 and older say they are 'knowledgeable' and they 'know about financial investing,' but most don't," explains Michalowski. "They have no idea of what questions to ask and how to check things out."

She says the survey shows a high level of vulnerability to the types of sales pitches most often used by scammers. It also finds most people have no idea where they should turn to report a suspected investment scam. The survey was conducted by the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which works to prevent consumer frauds and scams across the country.

Michalowski says adults in Connecticut are spending time researching their investment options, but the survey finds they often don't take the time to make sure they're starting with a reliable investment adviser.

"Fifty-five percent have not checked the background," says Michalowski. "So, they are doing all of this work, but they are not even checking who they are looking at working with."

One easy way to detect fraud and investment scams is to regularly check your credit report. Michalowski says 71 percent of Connecticut residents surveyed were not aware they can they can get a free copy of their latest report online, at annualcreditreport.com.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT