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WHATUndercover volunteers attend investment seminars and report back any inappropriate tactics and scams.
WHYFree lunch seminars attract the elderly with the promise of quick investment gains for retirement and free food and often pressure seniors to make unsuitable investment decisions with harassing follow up calls or visits.

State regulators are not able to fully cover the large number of fraudulent seminars so volunteers are essential in helping to eliminate fraud.
WHEREFree Lunch Monitor Program
North American Securities Administrators Association.

Program Description

"As a monitor you learn how to easily spot the persuasion tactics fraudsters use and how to report them to AARP. "

"With fraud and scams on the rise, older Americans remain a primary target for unscrupulous individuals. A common setting for fraudsters to engage with their victims is by offering a free lunch or dinner seminar for older investors interested in learning more about investing in retirement. Often, attendees of these free seminars are pitched unsuitable or fraudulent investment products and pressured into providing personal information. Remember: there’s no such thing as a free lunch."

A volunteer free lunch monitor brings along a checklist to the senior investment seminar to determine if the seminar is legitimately providing financial education to senior citizens or is a senior financial scam.

AARP training provides Free Lunch Monitor volunteers with what to watch and listen for and lists the following instructions for how to proceed when attending a free lunch seminar undercover.

  • Print and take the What to Listen for at a Free Lunch Checklist to the investment seminar.
  • Do not wear anything that says AARP or announce that you're a free lunch monitor.
  • During or after the seminar, fill in your observations on the checklist.
  • Send your completed checklist along with the invitation to AARP.
  • We strongly discourage inviting individuals into your home that you do not know!

AARP Volunteers remain fully discreet in there purpose for attending. They collect handouts and submit everything to the AARP Free Lunch Monitor Program afterwards for review.

The AARP program asks that anyone who receives an invitation for a free lunch seminar send the invite in to them for review. This helps to assure that investment professionals are not running investment scams for seniors and that they are legitimately working in the best interest seniors.




Find out more about the AARP Free Lunch Monitor Program


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