Ric Edelman on How to Protect Yourself Against Financial Scams

In this video Ric Edelman discusses a troubling scam that occurred in Spokane, WA. An elderly gentleman was scammed out of $287,000 after the scammers — pretending to be from Edelman Financial Services — promised him $18.2 million and a new car if he wired them money from his bank account.

He also shares tip on how you can protect yourself, your parents or grandparents from falling victim to scams like this.

Below is a transcript of Ric's comments:

I'm Ric Edelman. I'm sending you this video because last week I learned of a very troubling scam that occurred in Spokane, Washington and I wanted to alert you. Here are the details.

An elderly gentleman was scammed out of $287,000.00 of his retirement savings. The scammers sent him e-mails and faxes. They promised him that he would receive $18.2 million and a new car if he wired them money from his bank account.

He sent them $100,000.00 initially and then he wired them even more totaling $287,000.00 before his bank recognized what was happening and contacted his wife and the police.

But it's too late: his money is gone. And according to the Spokane sheriffs department he will never see his money again.

These scams are all too common but here's why I'm telling you about this one. The scammers pretended to be me and they used the credibility that I've built up over the last 30 years to take advantage of this gentleman.

They sent him letters supposedly from me telling him how reputable they – me – are. The invoice they sent had a fake Edelman Financial logo but the real address of our San Diego office. The phone number on the e-mails, the faxes, the invoices: they were all fake. Calls would go to the crook's cell phone not to Edelman Financial.

It's devastating to discover that crooks are using my name and my firm's name to defraud consumers.

So I want to give you tips on how you can protect yourself and how you can help protect your parents and your grandparents from scams like this.

First, Edelman Financial never sends invoices to people demanding money for investments. We might send an invoice for our fee but never for you to make an investment. And we never demand that you wire money or send a check.

Second, no legitimate investment firm ever promises extraordinary returns like those crooks did. Pay $100,000.00 and get $18.2 million plus a free car?

Remember, if an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true that's because it is.

Third, if you ever get any communication from someone claiming to be me or from Edelman Financial Services verify it. All you need to do is call (888) PLAN-RIC or send me an e-mail by visiting RicEdelman.com. Just click the button "I want to talk to an advisor."

And finally please forward this e-mail and video to all your friends and family. The last thing we want is for anyone else to be victimized by these crooks.

At Edelman Financial we're committed to serving your best interests and to helping you and your family achieve your financial goals. That has been our mission for 30 years.

Thank you for helping us put a stop to this scam. And if you need anything please feel free to contact us at (888) PLAN-RIC. Thank you.