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Targets for Scam Artists: The Elderly Must Be Extra-Careful When Investing

10/3/2012, 2:26 p.m.

Tenth, avoid being "reloaded." That's when the con artist says you've lost money but he can turn it around if you'll only invest more.

The elderly don't usually have time to recover from big financial mistakes. That's why it's so important that you need to go to the authorities if you've been swindled and, like the elderly women in the case at the beginning of this article, get restitution through the courts.

This may seem like a lot to remember. There are a lot of con men and fast-buck artists out there, but if you remember just one thing it should be enough to keep you safe: Never invest with someone you haven't checked out thoroughly. If you take nothing else away, remember this. Find out if the person is licensed to sell investments; check his track record with local authorities; and do an Internet search on his name and company to see what turns up.

Take responsibility for keeping your money safe and your retirement comfortable. And if you need help, don't hesitate to ask.

If you need information on financial matters or to report abuse, email the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking at disbcomplaints@dc.gov or disb@dc.gov or call (202) 727-8000.