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Financial Scams

Homeowner Scams- Traveling contractors who appear at the door unsolicited and point out flaws in construction, roof , or say you need to have asphalt driveways repaved are scammers called "Woodchucks." They take advantage of the elderly by overcharging and doing substandard work.

Mortgages and Reverse Mortgage Scams-  Scammers offer to assess the value of your home for a "fee." They then get the information from public sites and collect the fee or offer a great deal on a reverse mortgage. "According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), ‘unsecured reverse mortgages can lead property owners to lose their homes when the perpetrators offer money or a free house somewhere else in exchange for the title to the property.’"

Lottery or Sweepstakes Winnings- The susceptible senior is notified that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind, but they need to either pay money (postage and shipping or lawyer/delivery fees) or divulge sensitive personal information to claim the winnings. Sometimes, the criminal will send the person a fake check to deposit but ask for some fees or tax monies upfront. 

Timeshare Scams- Imagine feeling bad enough to have gotten hooked by a timeshare sell and now getting taken two or three times more by those offering to sell that timeshare in 90 days or less. The thieves will ask for money upfront for advertising, title searches, and other administrative fees.   In the end, you are still stuck with the timeshare and all of the fee money is nonrefundable..

Family members or friends-" members or friends become so desperate for money that they will do whatever it takes to get it. Many of these family members are dependent on the senior for resources. The exploiting family member or friend comes to believe that, in return for care (actual or perceived and however little that care may be), he or she is due compensation (money, possessions, etc.)." Source:

Online investments or securities fraud- "Scammers will sell seniors long-term securities or stock. They have no problems selling a woman in her 80s a certificate that doesn’t mature for 20 or 25 years. They’re relying on her inability to understand the fine print. Then if she needs the money, she must break the bond and pay the penalties. Scammers make a commission." Source:

Solution Simply say, " Here is my attorney's (financial adviser, accountant, adult child) number. if they agree with your offer, I will certainly consider it." It is guaranteed that the scammer will not make that call! If it is work on your home, ask for three references...and call them.

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