Reverse Mortgage Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 5:44 PM

drawing house on the moveThe FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) urge consumers, especially senior citizens, to be vigilant when seeking reverse mortgage products. Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), have increased more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008, creating significant opportunities for fraud perpetrators.

Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property.

In many of the reported scams, victim seniors are offered free homes, investment opportunities, and foreclosure or refinance assistance. They are also used as straw buyers in property flipping scams. Seniors are frequently targeted through local churches and investment seminars, as well as television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

A legitimate HECM loan product is insured by the Federal Housing Authority. It enables eligible homeowners to access the equity in their homes by providing funds without incurring a monthly payment. Eligible borrowers must be 62 years or older who occupy their property as their primary residence and who own their property or have a small mortgage balance. See the FBI/HUD Intelligence Bulletin for specific details on HECMs as well as other foreclosure rescue and investment schemes.

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements.
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment.
  • Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.
  • Do not accept payment from individuals for a home you did not purchase.
  • Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor.

If you are a victim of this type of fraud and want to file a complaint, please submit information through our electronic tip line or through your local FBI office. You may also file a complaint with HUD-OIG at www.hud.gov/complaints/fraud_waste.cfm or by calling HUD’s hotline at 1-800-347-3735.

Source FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors/seniors#rms

 

Dating and Romance Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 5:15 PM

Sunset on the beach

Whether you are a male or a female, you should read this as the scenario below could easily apply to either gender. Months of online dating doesn't seem to be paying off. You're flipping through hundreds of profiles a night and everyone's either shallow or not that good looking. You finally think your luck is turning around when you hear from a lonely widow from Eastern Europe. She is gorgeous in her pictures and seems really into you! Alternatively, maybe you are a female and you just connected with a man working or being a soldier overseas.

After a few emails, you start to fall in love - and are thrilled to hear she reciprocates, calling you (after four to five months) "the love of her life". When it comes time for you two to get together, she tells you she needs money. Maybe she can't afford a plane ticket. Maybe she's sick and needs medicine. Maybe she lost her wallet in a foreign city or maybe she had a flood or a fire at her home. Or, one of the latest reasons ... she needs to take an AIDS test, which is required in her country before international travel.

Whatever it is, it seems like a small price to pay for true love - and it would be, if the love were "true". But this isn't who you thought it was - she may not even be a woman, but a guy in Nigeria. Don't feel bad: tens of thousands of men have fallen victim to this and tens of thousands more will

Despite the many legitimate dating websites operating around the world, there are many dating and romance scams as well. Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side.

Some dating and romance scams work by setting up a dating website where you pay for each email or message you send and receive. The scammer will try to hook you in by continuing to send you vague-sounding emails filled with talk of love or desire. The scammer might also send emails filled with details of their home country or town that do not refer to you much at all. These are attempts to keep you writing back and paying money for use of the scammer’s dating website.

Even on a legitimate dating site, you might be approached by a scammer - perhaps someone who claims to have a very sick family member or who is in the depths of despair (often these scammers claim to be from Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia or another low wage country). After they have sent you a few messages, and maybe even a glamorous photo, you will be asked (directly or more subtly) to send them money to help their situation. Some scammers even arrange to meet with you, in the hope that you give them presents or money - and then they disappear.

In other cases, scammers will try to build a friendship with you, perhaps even sending you flowers or other small gifts. After building a relationship, the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money they need to transfer out of their country, or that they want to share with you. They will then ask for your banking details or money for an administrative fee or tax that they claim needs to be paid to free up the money.

Some sentiment con artists search out a specialty of different fixations where they will locate a dark interest and they will make the casualty believe that in the event that they pay for the con artist's plane ticket that they will get the chance to carry on a sexual dream of theirs by having the con artist come to them to engage in sexual relations. The con artists likewise like to lure casualties to perform sexual follows up on webcam. They then record their casualties, play back the recorded pictures or features to them and after that blackmail cash to keep them from sending the recordings to companions, family, executives, regularly found by means of online networking destinations, for example, Facebook, twitter and so forth.

The expert dater contrasts from alternate tricks in system for operation; a vis-à-vis meeting really does happen in the con artist's nation however is committed singularly into controlling the imprint into spending however much cash as could reasonably be expected in generally little time, with little or nothing consequently. The plan as a rule includes associates, for example, a mediator and a cab driver, all of which must be paid by the casualty at a swelled cost. Everything is pre-orchestrated so that the well off nonnative pays top dollar for convenience, is taken not to a standard open bistro but rather to the most exorbitant eatery (generally some off the beaten path spot evaluated far above what local people would ever be willing to pay), and is controlled into making different extravagant buys, including endowments, for example, hardware and fur garments.

The merchants are regularly some piece of the plan. The imprint allows pretty much as to sit unbothered yet poorer toward the end of the excursion. The stock is come back to the merchants, the genius dater and the different accessories stash their separate cut of the take. As the expert dater is anxious to date once more, the following date is instantly situated up with the following well off outsider.

The assumed relationship goes no further, but to immerse the hapless imprint with solicitations for more cash after they return home. Dissimilar to a gold digger, who weds for cash, an expert dater is not so much single or accessible, all things considered.

What makes this scam even worse is that most of the victims refuse to believe they have been scammed, even after they lost the first round of cash. They’ll keep putting in money, truly believing they are helping a future life-mate and ignore all advice from friends.

Protect yourself:

  • Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites.

  • You should never pay for somebody you have never met. Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

  • If she insists on you paying for the plane ticket, buy it for her directly with no refund option. At least that way, he/she can't just take the money and run.

  • Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online.

  • Make sure you only use legitimate and reputable dating websites.

  • Ask yourself if someone which you have never met really declare their love for you after only a few letters or emails?

  • Run their name (even if they are fake) by professional companies that provide background checking of online dating users. There are just a few legitimate companies that provide this service.

 

Funeral and Cemetery Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 4:33 PM

CemeteryWith a normal expense of more than $5,000, funerals are likewise costly - and arranging one is a prime time to get covered in extortion.

Here are three approaches to maintain a strategic distance from the most well-known ploys.

  1. Demand the "rundowns"
    At introductory contact, government law obliges that memorial service homes give you three evaluating records: one for all merchandise and administrations offered, another for coffins and a third for grave liners or "external internment holders."

    This supposed Funeral Rule additionally restricts burial service homes from obliging administrations that must be discretionary by law, (for example, preserving), or demanding that coffins and different things be straightforwardly acquired from them as a state of giving commemoration administrations. Nor would you be able to be charged additional for administrations on the off chance that you decide to purchase the coffin somewhere else, a typical approach to spare cash.

  2. Prepaying? Utilization alert
    Long-range making arrangements for a burial service is constantly shrewd. Before there's a prompt need, your family - or even you - can examination shop with evaluating records close by and guarantee that courses of action are made precisely as sought. Yet, you can confront genuine hazard in prepaying for a memorial service, which you may do to lessen the monetary weight on your survivors or, as permitted in numerous states, to decrease your benefits so you can meet all requirements.

    Consider a late FBI bust of a prepaid memorial service conspire in which in the range of 97,000 individuals in 16 states lost more than $450 million in burial service products and administrations that were paid for ahead of time however never gave. Furthermore, there are unquestionably different situations where new proprietors purchase a burial service home and afterward keep running off with the cash.

  3. Be careful with fake welcomes
    In numerous plans, burial service homes cheat you. Yet, another sort includes criminals taking your personality.

    As of late, outside based cybercrooks have been messaging fake burial service notices. Bearing the stolen name and logo of a true blue burial service home, it has all the earmarks of being a welcome to a memorial service or recognition administration for an anonymous companion or associate.

    By tapping on a connection or opening a connection, you can as far as anyone knows get subtle elements. Be that as it may, when you do, malware is unleashed on your PC to take records, passwords and other delicate data. Headlines are regularly "burial service notice" or "going of your companion." Don't take the goad! Authentic burial service warnings incorporate the name of the deceased.

Tips for Avoiding Funeral and Cemetery Fraud:

  • Be an informed consumer. Take time to call and shop around before making a purchase. Take a friend with you who may offer some perspective to help make difficult decisions. Funeral homes are required to provide detailed general price lists over the telephone or in writing.

  • Educate yourself fully about caskets before you buy one, and understand that caskets are not required for direct cremations.

  • Understand the difference between funeral home basic fees for professional services and any fees for additional services.

  • Know that embalming rules are governed by state law and that embalming is not legally required for direct cremations.

  • Carefully read all contracts and purchasing agreements before signing and make certain that all of your requirements have been put in writing.

  • Make sure you understand all contract cancellation and refund terms, as well as your portability options for transferring your contract to other funeral homes.

  • Before you consider prepaying, make sure you are well informed. When you do make a plan for yourself, share your specific wishes with those close to you.

  • As a general rule governing all of your interactions as a consumer, do not allow yourself to be pressured into making purchases, signing contracts, or committing funds. These decisions are yours and yours alone.

 

Fraudulent "Anti-Aging" Products

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 3:41 PM

woman with cream on her face - scaringAttempting to purchase the wellspring of youth is similar to tossing cash into a dry wishing admirably. The cash is run and you're left with only purge jugs of unfilled guarantees. What's more, the boomer era is the precise business that makers of against maturing items - some genuine, some not - target.

It isn't only the creams and elixirs offered nowadays. Men and ladies of all ages can be casualties of futile supplements and perilous blends, for example, implied hormone-substitution treatments being sold by dishonest and unregulated sources.

Thus, before you purchase any against maturing item making enormous guarantees, know the notice indications of a trick and know the right things to ask.

At the point when spending your well deserved money on against maturing items, verify you are purchasing an item that works and are not purchasing a vacant guarantee.

In the event that a supplement or individual consideration item makes a case, request the exploratory confirmation to back it up. Verify that an impartial lab or outsider did the supporting studies, not the producer's group or any organization put resources into benefits. Make inquiries, for example, whether the trials were done on members in your age bunch and your ethnicity.

Try not to depend on Internet surveys. While a few retailers and autonomous audit destinations offer impartial client surveys, numerous web search tool results will convey audits made by and/or paid for by those advancing the item.

Advertisements squawk about a “secret formula,” or a “breakthrough,” but never define those terms or offer evidence. Other catchphrases to beware of are “scientific breakthrough,” “exclusive product,” “secret ingredient” or “active remedy.”

Also, a big name support isn't solid confirmation. Most famous people are remunerated to embrace an item. Furthermore, be mindful of individual testimonials that are deceiving.

Any case that says it is superfluous to counsel a specialist is a warning. Before beginning any eating routine, nourishing supplement or new wellbeing administration, you ought to check with your specialist.

What's more, remember when taking supplements that there may be a genuine danger of communication with doctor prescribed meds. Notwithstanding bundling or commercial cases, items you ingest or put on your skin or generally expend can conceivably have genuine symptoms.

What's more, don't succumb to the white scientist's jacket. Ordinarily producers will attempt to pass on believability by having the representative wear a white laboratory garment and even a stethoscope, giving the appearance they are a medicinal expert, or utilizing words, for example, "institutes" or "academies" to reinforce validity.

Consistently, a significant number of us do basic and safe things to enhance our wellbeing and appearance, for example, utilization sunscreen or spread the dim with haircolor. While there are numerous protected approaches to battle the presence of maturing, specialists caution buyers against becoming tied up with the thought that its anything but difficult to turn around the maturing procedure.

Some hostile to maturing items or systems asserts that the key is as simple as controlling a solitary hormone, or that their items is an off-mark use as an "option" to conventional and FDA-endorsed employments of the medication.

Tips for Avoiding Fraudulent "Anti-Aging" Products:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for "Secret Formulas" or "Breakthroughs".

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product. Find out exactly what it should and should not do for you.

  • Research a product thoroughly before buying it. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out if other people have complained about the product.

  • Be wary of products that claim to cure a wide variety of illnesses - particularly serious ones - that don’t appear to be related.

  • Be aware that testimonials and/or celebrity endorsements are often misleading.

  • Be very careful of products that are marketed as having no side effects.

  • Question products that are advertised as making visits to a physician unnecessary.

  • Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary or nutritional supplement.

 

Work-At-Home Scams - Job One: Don't Take the Bait

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 3:13 PM

Announcement; Earn $$$$ without leaving your homeEveryone’s seen them - seductive work-at-home opportunities hyped in flyers tacked to telephone poles, in newspaper classifieds, in your e-mail, and all over the web, promising you hundreds or thousands of dollars a week for "Ads/E-mail Processing", "Craft Assembly", "Data Entry", "Envelope Stuffing", "List with Clients for Sale", "Make Profit Now", "Marketing Kit", "Medical Billing Service", "Typing at Home", etc. And it’s just a phone call or mouse click away…

Might be tempting during these uncertain economic times, but beware of any offers that promise easy money for minimum effort - many are scams that fill the coffers of criminals.

In a nutshell, you find an ad, which tells you that you could turn your computer into a moneymaking machine (giving you the example of someone who already quit their 9-5 job - More details on this can be found in the "Mom Makes $.../ Day Scam"). They lure victims in by using phrases such as "Make an extra buck", "extra holiday money", "Make money online", or "Make money on the Internet", etc.

Here are a few of the most common work-at-home scams

  • Advance-fee
    Starting a home-based business is easy! Just invest a few hundred dollars in inventory, set-up, and training materials, they say. Of course, if and when the materials do come, they are totally worthless…and you’re stuck with the bill.

  • Making a couple of additional bucks doesn't sound any simpler than this:
    Simply pay an in advance, one-time charge (a couple of thousand dollars, maybe) to have somebody fabricate and host a working site highlighting different family unit products available to be purchased, from toothpaste to tissue; every time somebody purchases a thing, you gather a cut of the exchange. You should do nothing more than urge individuals to shop there - the rest (stocking stock, transporting the item) is taken care of for you. On the other hand, more probable, nothing is taken care of, and the criminal offering you the open door is a distant memory with your sincere cash before you've sold one tube of Crest.

  • Driver needed
    This trick, as of late promoted on Craigslist, has numerous varieties. For one situation, a man asks you to chauffer his wife, who is going to your territory. Sufficiently simple, however the installment terms are slightly convoluted. You are informed that you will get a check (or "cash gram") for, say, $2,500 via the post office. You will store the check, then instantly haul out the money - $700 to cover your charge and any subordinate costs, and the rest to be sent back to the trickster. Your bank most likely won't know for a day or two that you have saved a fake check.

  • Counterfeit check-facilitated "mystery shopper"
    You’re sent a hefty check and asked to deposit it into your bank account, then withdraw funds to shop and check out the service of local stores and wire transfer companies. You keep a small amount of the money for your "work", but then, as instructed, mail or wire the rest to your "employer". Sounds good? One problem: the initial check was phony and by the time your bank notifies you, your money is long gone and you’re on the hook for the counterfeit check.

  • The greater part of these telecommute plans guarantee up to a great many dollars for each week for preparing protection claims for specialists who are excessively occupied with, making it impossible to manage the printed material themselves. You'll get startup showcasing materials, programming, an instructional meeting and a "lead" rundown of neighborhood doctors - all for a charge, obviously. Too awful that product costs a considerable measure less, best case scenario Buy, your instructional meetings are put off uncertainly, your leads are vapor and nobody needs your service.

  • This may be the worst one of all
    Customers pay a charge to enroll with the business to get to a pre-screened rundown of "genuine" work-at-home employment postings. The con artist's promotions appear over the span of a "trick free employments at home" online inquiry, and they guarantee a discount to the individuals who neglect to get a vocation. In the wake of sending in installment, casualties are summarily bolted out of their records and never see a solitary opening for work.

  • Pyramid schemes
    You’re hired as a "distributor" and shell out big bucks for promotional materials and product inventories with little value (like get-rich quick pamphlets). You’re promised money for recruiting more distributors, so you talk friends and family into participating. The scheme grows exponentially but then falls apart - the only ones who make a profit are the criminals who started it.

  • Unknowing involvement in criminal activity
    Criminals - often located overseas - sometimes use unwitting victims to advance their operations, steal and launder money, and maintain anonymity. For example, they may "hire" you as a U.S.-based agent to receive and re-ship checks, merchandise, and solicitations to other potential victims…without you realizing it’s all a ruse that leaves no trail back to the crooks.

Add identity theft to the mix. As if these schemes aren’t bad enough, many also lead to identity theft. During the application process, you’re often asked to provide personal information that can be used to steal from your bank account or establish new credit cards in your name.

On the job. A host of law enforcement and regulatory agencies investigate these schemes and track down those responsible. But the most effective weapon against these fraudsters is you not falling for the scams in the first place.

A few tips:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.

  • Be suspicious when money is required up front for instructions or products.

  • Don’t provide personal information when first interacting with your prospective employer.

  • Do your own research into legitimate work-at-home opportunities, using the "Work-at-Home Sourcebook" and other resources that may be available at your local library.

  • Ask lots of questions of potential employers - legitimate companies will have answers for you!

  • Keep in mind that every successful business is successful because it has happy customers. Try to find those who worked with the company before, but do not use the "company's" own testimonials. That's where everybody falls, as they believe everything without doing research. There are over 1,000 forums on this topic on the Internet.

And if you think you’ve been the victim of a work-at-home scam, file a complaint at your local authorities.

 

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AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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