Seniors beware 'certified' scam artists

U.S. Capitol Building

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: If someone says they're a "Certified Senior Advisor" or a "Certified Retirement Planner," that kind sounds like they have some expertise, doesn't it? Federal and state authorities say its "hogwash." Those terms are just marketing tools, one of several being used to scam older people. Jeremy Hobson reports.


Jeremy Hobson: At a hearing yesterday on Capitol Hill, this was message from both Republicans and Democrats:

Senior citizens are getting scammed into investments they can't access for years by people who don't know what they're talking about -- people who sometimes have titles like certified financial advisor that only require a little work and a little cash to get.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox says it's time for the government to step in.

Christopher Cox: I think we have long since gotten over the question of whether or not there's a role here for the federal government. There is.

Cox says there should be an accreditation process for retirement planners.

Dan Danbom with the Society of Certified Senior Advisors says he welcomes the idea of a national standard to weed out the bad guys.

Dan Danbom: We're aware that there are people who will misrepresent themselves and who will cross other lines for instance acting as an unregistered investment advisor.

Lawmakers say legislation is already in the works.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...