People love free food, but seniors are at particular risk of making a poor financial decision in return for a free meal, according to the latest scam alert issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Friday.
“In the Free Lunch Investment Seminar Scam, business people will host presentations and attract an audience by promoting free lunches,” said deputy district attorney Miriam Avalos in a video about the latest scam. “During these seminars, presenters will talk about investment opportunities promising big returns, which are often risky ventures. They will create a sense of urgency and pressure victims to invest on the spot.”
Warning signs that a seminar might very well be a scam include some sense of urgency, the requirement to pay large amounts of cash upfront and the promise of high returns. Those who accept a free lunch or any complimentary services are neither obligated to buy any of those services or products, nor are they obliged to invest money.
To avoid risk from fraudsters, the D.A.’s Office suggests the following tips:
- Before attending the seminar, research on the company promoting such investments.
- Never provide any personal information, including PIN, a Social Security number or account number.
- Consult with someone trustworthy before making any investments and take time to do so.
Those interested in more information can follow @LADAOffice on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news. The above information was shared with The Signal via a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.