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In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How to Protect Your Retirement Investments from Scams

By David Francis





Fraudsters' tactics are often effective, but fighting back is easy


JewishWorldReview.com | (USNWR) The Great Recession hammered investments across the board. But perhaps no one was more devastated by the economic downturn than retirees or those on the verge of retirement.

People who already retired were no longer working, so they had no chance to earn back the money lost. People close to retirement were left scrambling to regain losses quickly or delay retirement altogether.

It's no coincidence that around this time, a new kind of scam emerged that targeted financially stressed retirees. These scams take many forms, but perhaps the most common is what is known as a "free lunch" scam. Here's how it works: An advertisement is placed in a newspaper or online promising a high-reward, low-risk investment that directly benefits retirees. It also promises a free lunch at a local restaurant, where a more expansive sales pitch can be made.

At the lunch, a polished broker promises market-beating returns. All the retiree has to do is roll over his or her 401(k) account into an account run by the broker's firm. There's some talk about risk and fees but with high returns, those fees would be nominal. Desperate to make up the money lost in the bear market, the retiree agrees.

Once that money is under the broker's control, it disappears. The retirees are told that unforeseen market fluctuations caused steep losses in their account. According to the broker, there's little to nothing left. The retirees are left broke; the broker most likely walks off with the money.

These scams have become so common that the American Association of Retired People (AARP) started a No Free Lunch campaign to increase awareness.


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"We have people who are concerned about lack of credentials, high-pressured pitches, promises of high returns, and virtually no risk," says Sally Hurme, a lawyer and project manager with AARP education and outreach. "We want them to report their concerns back to us in an easy reporting form available at this site."

Wide range of scams. Free lunch scams are hardly the only ones that target seniors. In "mystery shopper" scams, people receive a large check from what appears to be a government agency with instructions to deposit the check into a checking account. There are also instructions to spend a portion of the money at a particular store, keep a bit in the account, and wire the rest overseas.

Sounds like easy money. But the check is bogus and the money being transferred out of the account belongs to the victim.

Then there's medical fraud, in which seniors are targeted for unneeded tests, and a relative-in-distress fraud, in which a person calls claiming to be a long-lost relative in need of money. There are also Ponzi schemes, made famous by Bernie Madoff. Money raised from new investors is used to pay old investors. Sooner or later, the scheme collapses and everyone loses their cash. Other fraudsters sell unregistered securities, like promissory notes or sales in microstocks.

According to Katherine Hutt, director of communications at the Council of Better Business Bureaus, these are just a sampling of the scams aimed at seniors. "During retirement specifically, there are so many different scams that targets seniors," she says. "There are a lot of scam artists that fly under the radar."

Fraud warning signs. Gerri Walsh, vice president of investor education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), says a scammer's primary way of targeting a victim is through persuasion. To gain trust through persuasion, he or she uses five primary methods:

Promises of phantom riches. "They dangle something that you want but can't have—guaranteed returns and promises of untold riches," Walsh says.

Source credibility. "This is the idea that we all want to work with the person who is the expert. We seek out the person who is knowledgeable," according to Walsh. "A con man looks the part of the authoritative figure, but authority can be faked. Diplomas you claim to have, accolades you have gained—it can all be made up."

Social consensus. "Everybody is doing it, and you don't want to be the one that's left off the bus. You want to be with the 'in' crowd," she says.

Reciprocity. "The idea behind this is the concept of 'I do something nice for you, you do something nice for me,'" Walsh says. "There's been a lot of research that's been done that shows when you give someone something, that person is more likely to give back to you."

Scarcity. "It's used to create a false sense of urgency—something is time-limited. They might say it's quantity-limited. They also might claim something is exclusive," Walsh says. "This is the idea that this opportunity is only available to a select group of investors, and you are one of them."

According to Walsh, the best scammers will use these tactics on a mark without the mark realizing that he or she is being targeted.

How to fight back. Walsh says the best weapon against cons is simple: Ask a lot of questions.

"The process is designed to weigh you down so that you're in an ether and not making a rational decision—you're making an emotional one," she says. "The best way to avoid this situation is to ask questions. If you make the con's work difficult, they'll back away."

"You've got to do your own independent research," adds AARP's Hurme. "You have to verify the info and not let the glitter and glamour of a brochure that is not a regular prospectus get in the way of prudent caution."

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David Francis is a reporter based in Berlin and Washington, DC. He has reported from all over the world on a number of topics, from transatlantic relations, to sports, to border security, to local news, to finance.











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