Study: Most people have received fraudulent solicitations

Fraud is rampant and our ability to spot it is not so good.

Those are the findings of a report released this morning on financial fraud and fraud susceptibility by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

According to the report, more than eight out of 10 people surveyed received a solicitation for a potentially fraudulent offer. And 11 percent of them lost a lot of money after taking up the offer.

Many people were unable to identify the typical red flags of fraud, the study found, such as promises of investment returns of 110 percent and guarantees that investors can't lose money.

“Even though annual returns over 100 percent are highly improbable, virtually no investment is riskless and inflated returns and guarantees are common pitches of fraudsters,” the report said.

Con artists were also more likely to target those age 65 and older, and this age group was 34 percent more likely to lose money than 40-somethings, the report said.

The reports surveyed 2,364 people age 40 and older online.

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