The thought of owing more than your home is worth or being months behind on your mortgage can make you easy prey for Scams. Many companies who appear to be legitimate saviors may end up kicking you while your down. One of the problems seem to be that the vultures know that most of us don’t read all the fine print or are to trusting to get a second opinion on what kind of a deal they are really getting. There are a few ways they can get you, one way is by having you pay them up front cash and never producing on their promises, or by having you sign over your home with the promise of returning it after all their fees and interest are paid. Here are a few tips on what to look for and what actions you can take to prevent Mortgage scams:
- Always be weary of anyone who contacts you that has no affiliation with your mortgage lender. Always check the credentials of anyone you are in business with.
- Never sign your house over to anyone without first receiving legal advice (you maybe able to obtain free legal advice in your area).
- Do not do give out any moneys in advance. Any legitimate company or non-profit organization will not demand payment up front.
- Watch out for companies who want you to sell your house and then rent or lease it back from them.
- Always keep in contact with your lender (you may not like what they have to say but it might keep you out of further financial ruin).
- Anyone who seems to rush you into making decisions or sign documents is a huge red flag.
- Never pay your mortgage to anyone but your lender. Even if you are convinced you are working with a legitimate individual or company.
- If it seems to good to be true it probably is
There are several agencies who can help you during your troubling time. If you have questions on finding some help you can contact http://www.hud.gov for an approved counselor. You may also check out your states foreclosure laws at http://www.foreclosurelaw.org.
This one starts with a simple phone call. Here is a sample phone call.
Scammer: Hi grandma!
Innocent senior: Hello
Scammer: Do you know who this is?
The senior will generally say one of their grandchildrens name, once they do the scammer says yes and will then tell the senior that they need money for an emergency (got in trouble, have to pay rent, car broke down). Stressing not to tell Mom because she will be mad at the grandchild.
Innocent Senior: Chris?
Scammer:yes, I have gotten into some financial trouble and need to borrow $800 dollars for my rent.
The scammer will then instruct them to send the money via money gram or western union.
Our main suggestion would be never to volunteer any information. This is hard when they feel it is a loving member of their family. This scam can only be stopped if we can get the word out. Share this story with a friend and ask them to do the same.
This is the big one. If there is one scam that seniors should be talking about it is this one. The amount of money that is being stolen is astronomical. At the 2nd annual Senior Summit, Chris Hansen the Associate Executive Director at AARP, recited the statistic that three fourths of all assets in America comes from families in which the head of the household is over 50 years of age. One of the main topics discussed at the Summit was investment luncheons. These are luncheons set up by a group of so called financial advisor’s or investors, that target portfolios.
These are only a few of the highlights:
- The salesmen will Try and gain your trust and then push for aggressive choices that pay them large incentives.
- These salesmen advertise the luncheon or workshop as educational. Then when they get you there or a few days later they aggressively try and convince you to take action.
- Just because someone shows you a certain license does not mean that they are legit, remember these people spend a good amount of time thinking of ways to take your money.
I am going to give you the hyper link for the Summit, and I do advise people watch the whole thing. Also send the link to friends and families, to local retirement communities, and senior centers.
2nd annual Senior Summit
Here are some tips you should always keep in mind when approached by phone, email, or even your front door:
- Scam artist will appear nice, caring, and will try and gain your trust.
- If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.
- Bad people may have done research about you. They can find out who you bank with, who your insurance is with, what credit cards you have, what Internet provider you use, and even who your family members are.
- Trust your instinct’s, if it doesn’t feel right then you need to do some research or have someone do it for you. Scammers will try and rush you and even confuse you. If they are legitimate then they will give you time.
- Discuss protecting yourself with your friends and family. Being prepared can be your best defense.
Together we can make a stand and maybe frustrate the bad guys for once,
Chris Cator email@example.com
I use to have a moving company and had someone try and scam me. I got an email requesting that I do a move for a guy coming from Canada. He requested his company send me a check, of which I take out my fees. Then instructed me to send him the rest via a money order. The scam is that I cash it at my bank and send them the money threw a non traceable money order, by the time the check comes up fake it is too late and I am stuck owing the money. I will keep you up to date on the most recent scams. If you would like to be fully covered by our scam protectors take a look at the Full Service Membership.Double click the fake check for full size view.
Here are a couple of the emails he sent. You can tell he doesn’t know English too well but he tries to come across as trusting and personal.
HELLO DEAR CHRISTOPHER
HOW DO YOU DO TODAY FINE I GUESS,I JUST DROPPED BY TO SAY HELLO TO YOU AND ALSO TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU WOULD BE GETTING THE CHECK SOON,ALSO SORRY FOR THE LATE RESPONSEE I HAVE BEEN ILL AND DOWN AND JUST RECOVERING FROM AN ILLNESS ALSO PLEASE NOTE AND HAVE IN MIND THAT ONCE YOU HAVE GOTTEN THE CHECK YOU WOULD DEPOSIT AT THE BANK ASAP THEN ONCE THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU WE WOULD THEN PROCEED FROM THERE,PLEASE E-MAIL ME BACK ASAP ONCE YOU GET THIS E-MAIL
HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS GREAT DAY?FINE I SUPPOSE.
ANYWAY,JUST TO LET YOU KNOW AGAIN THAT EVERYTHING IS OK.THE PAYMENT IS ON ITS WAY.I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE,AND ALSO YOUR WILLINGNESS TO WORK WITH ME.I AM SURE EVERYTHING WOULD BE OK.PLEASE,MAKE SURE YOU KEEP AN EYE ON THE PAYMENT,AND DONOT HESITATE TO GET BACK TO ME WHEN THE PAYMENT ARRIVES.YOU ARE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT IN THE MAIL ANYTIME FROM NOW.I NEED YOU TO CHECK THE MAIL REGULARLY FOR THE PAYMENT,AND DONOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME AS SOON AS THE PAYMENT ARRIVES
YOU ARE EXPECTED TO DEPOSIT THE PAYMENTS AT THE BANK IMMEDIATELY YOU RECIEVE THEM.HAVE A GREAT DAY.
MY REGARDS TO THE FAMILY.