Ways to Avoid Common Scams Against Seniors

The biggest group of people targeted by scammers is the elderly, who often are extremely trusting. If you are now in retirement after working for many years, you should be able to enjoy your money without feeling threatened.

Keep in mind that if you have already been hit with a scam and now face major financial challenges, you have options that will help. To learn about various solutions, including bankruptcy filing, debt consolidation, and credit counseling, it is important to talk to an Oswego bankruptcy lawyer who has years of experience in this particular field.

Protecting Yourself Against Scams

To protect yourself and the money you worked so hard to earn, your best line of defense is education.

  • Investment Scams – These scams have become a real problem over the past several years as seniors look for ways to capitalize on retirement funds. For example, a scammer will offer an elderly person some type of investment opportunity in which the returns are excellent while the risks are low. Instead of handing your money over to just anyone claiming to be a financial advisor, it is imperative that you do your homework. The biggest telltale sign of an investment scam is being pressured to make a fast decision.
  • Reverse Mortgage Scams – This scam is particularly challenging because a reverse mortgage is a legitimate way of getting equity out of a home. However, with reverse mortgage scams, an elderly homeowner is approached with what appears to be a 100% genuine loan. In reality, a fast-talking scammer who seems knowledgeable about mortgages talks the aging homeowner into transferring the property. Ultimately, the scammer ends up with the equity as well as the home itself. Charging extremely high fees for a legitimate reverse mortgage is another type of elderly scam. If you want to withdraw equity from your home for whatever reason, turn to your bank first, followed by a reputable Oswego mortgage broker.
  • Contractor Scams – Often, an elderly person lives in a home that needs repairs, which is what a scammer preys upon. Coming across as being someone with real construction skills and a kind heart, the scammer offers to do work for a ridiculously low price. To the homeowner, this is a great way of getting repairs done without spending a significant amount of money. The catch: to get started, the “contractor” needs the full amount of the job paid upfront. Once paid, the scammer finds a reason to leave the property, never to return. Remember, only pay a percentage of the job ahead of time and the remainder once the work is completed to your satisfaction. To find a licensed contractor, ask for referrals from family members or friends, or check online for recommendations from trade associations, open forums, and other similar sites.

Seeking the Advice of a Bankruptcy Attorney

Your retirement money is yours to enjoy, not something that should be taken as part of a well-planned scam. Therefore, be wary of situations that seem too good to be true. Of course, if you have been victimized, a reputable Oswego bankruptcy lawyer can answer questions and provide guidance on other legal remedies.

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