Beware the free lunch.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Department of Elder Affairs Secretary E. Douglas Beach issued a consumer advisory this morning urging senior citizens to be wary of some financial planning seminars or estate preservation workshops that use a "free lunch" offer to bolster attendance.
More than a dozen seniors have complained to the Attorney General's Office that the free meals turned out to be a high-pressure sales pitches for investments that may be entirely inappropriate based on age or financial circumstances.
"The last thing our seniors need during this economic climate when their retirement savings may be dwindling is an investment scam that further depletes that nest egg," McCollum said in a statement. "Too many of our seniors are finding that these free meals can cost them dearly."
If in doubt, regulators urged seniors to avoid making any commitments. The AARP provides a checklist of questions to ask at a "free lunch'' seminar (PDF).