Senior citizens in Florida are being warned to think before going to financial planning seminars and estate-preservation workshops that offer a “free lunch” or “free dinner” to lure seniors to attend.
The Florida AG’s Office has received more than a dozen complaints from seniors enticed to attend a free meal that actually turned out to be a high-pressure sales pitch for investments that may be entirely inappropriate based on age and financial circumstance.
In quoting Attorney General Bill McCollum, the Naples Daily News reported that “The last thing our seniors need during this economic climate when their retirement savings may be dwindling is an investment scam that further depletes that nest egg”. “Too many of our seniors are finding that these free meals can cost them dearly.” The invitations often arrive by phone or mail and promise tips on earning great financial returns with minimal risk, eliminating taxes or avoiding probate. After a high-pressure presentation, salespeople then try to schedule follow-up visits in the homes of those who attend so they can continue the pitch. In addition to losing money, consumers who complained to the Attorney General reported being badgered by many unsolicited phone calls and frustrated by misrepresentation of the seminar’s purpose.