If you are of the baby boom era do you know that you are a prime target for financial scams? The aging baby boom population, due to their high asset value, seems to be the target these days for numerous scams that can really hit your pocket book. Baby boomers need to know what to look out for in order to protect their assets. Here is a peek at just a few of the top scams to watch out for.
Reverse Mortgage Fraud
A reverse mortgage is a home loan product that is designed to help elders remain in their home by taking out money against their homes value without having to make payments. While reverse mortgage products may sound like a great means to get needed cash in hand, if you do not work with a legitimate lender you could find yourself out thousands of dollars. Corrupt lenders have targeted the baby boomer population with reverse mortgage packages and found ways to pocket thousands of dollars of their loan money. Many of these scammers have also found ways to cash in before a loan deal has even been made asking for upfront money just to provide you with reverse mortgage information.
If you are considering a reverse mortgage you will want to make sure you choose a legitimate lender. A legitimate lender will require you to meet with a counselor who will thoroughly explain how their reverse mortgage program works and help you decide if it is really a program that is right for you.
Another scam to watch out for is what has been commonly called the distress scam. This scam again targets seniors and plays at their heart strings. The person being “played” will receive a phone call from an individual who claims they are a relative or a friend who is in trouble and needs cash right away. The scammer will sound desperate and may use the line that they were robbed while traveling and lost everything from their cash to credit cards, airline tickets, etc. Another typical scam artist caller might be from someone claiming to be a grandchild who has been arrested and is in the need of bail money. The caller can be sneaky saying, “hi grandma do you know who this is? This is your oldest grandson or granddaughter.” Names are not usually mentioned.
You should never send money for either of these scams. If you are concerned the call might be legitimate call other family members to validate the information.
The Jury Duty Scam
The jury duty scam is another one to watch out for. The scammer will call the senior claiming to be from the courts. The receiver of the call will be told that there is a warrant out for their arrest for failing to show up for jury duty. The scammer will let them know that they don’t want to see this happen and will remove the warrant after they have verified information. The senior will then be asked for their address and other personal information including their social security number. The caller has now stolen the senior’s identity.
The above listed scams really just touch the surface. Seniors are also prone to home robberies, sweepstake scams, insurance fraud, investment fraud and so much more. Your best defense is to be aware that you are a target and to be careful. Never give your money or personal information to anyone without taking the time to verify where your information or money is going.