Financial fraud is widespread in America, a new poll says, with more than 4 out of 5 respondents saying they’ve been targeted by scammers in one form or another.
Though most people don’t respond to bogus investment pitches, 11 percent have lost “significant” amounts of money in scams, according to the survey by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Wall Street industry watchdog.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable, FINRA said, both to being targeted and to falling prey and losing money.
“When it comes to financial fraud, America is a nation at risk,” said Gerri Walsh, president of FINRA’s investor education foundation. “Fraudsters are very effective at reaching and enticing vulnerable populations into turning over their money, and far too few Americans are able to detect likely fraudulent sales pitches.”
The poll of 2,364 Americans age 40 and older suggests that millions of Americans have been solicited as potential victims, often through emails offering prodigious but unrealistic riches.
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