Beware of Investments That Promise Guarantees - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Beware of Investments That Promise Guarantees

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Hundreds of people have been duped into investments guaranteeing large returns.

Some lost everything, but there are ways to identify these investments and protect your savings before you become a victim.

There are always risks when investing.  If you're promised a guaranteed return -- consider it a red flag.

Postal inspectors want consumers to know all investments carry some risk.

In one case, A&O Resource Management told investors they could be "guaranteed" big returns if they bought a life insurance policy product called "a life settlement."

"The return rates that were offered to people were very high in this instance, between 12 and 15 percent on the investment," said Marydith Newman, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Hundreds of people were lured in - most of them senior citizens.

"Who pulled money out of their 401k's or refinanced their home to invest in A&O because they were told this was a guaranteed investment, and they saw this as a lucrative thing to help them later in life," said Newman.

It was all a scheme.

There are 800 victims across the country, with a total loss of $100 million.

The con artists spent all of it on luxury homes, several high-end cars, jewelry and antiques.
Victims were left with nothing.

"They've lost their life savings and they have to go back to work - have to find a job when it's not easy to find a job," said Newman.

The two men at the top of A&O Resource Management got more than 45 years in prison for their role in the scheme.

The bottom line--whenever you hear the word guarantee, check out the investment extra carefully.

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