Category: Scams

Understanding Identity Theft

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWhat is Identity Theft?

According to the 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act identity theft is when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.”

The three most common types of identity theft are:

  • Financial identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain medical care or drugs)

How does Identity Theft happen?

In today’s technology driven society, protecting your identity is more important than ever.  But don’t assume identity theft only happens online.  It can happen anywhere, anytime.  Someone could be watching over your shoulder as you fill out a form at your doctor’s office.  Another individual could be rummaging through your trash, hoping to find a tossed out credit card offer.  Your email program’s spam filter may not be blocking those emails from Phishing websites.  There are many ways to fall victim to identity theft, arming yourself with facts and prevention is key to protection.

How do I protect myself from Identity Theft?

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  When filling out forms that include private information, take a seat away from others when possible. Never throw out forms or paperwork that may have your personal information on them, always take these home with you and dispose of them properly.
  • Don’t toss out credit card offers or other junk mail that pertains to obtaining credit.  In addition, any other private information you have – bills, car registration, insurance documents, bank statements – should always be disposed of properly and NEVER put out with your household trash.  These items should be shredded or burned.  In addition, limiting the amount of junk mail you receive by “opting out” of mail distribution lists can vastly decrease your risk.  Opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • Never follow links to bank accounts, credit accounts, PayPal accounts, etc from an email.  “Phishing” emails may appear as a completely legitimate email from your bank or credit card company, warning you of unauthorized transactions or other alarming information.  These emails will include links that take you to a website that looks identical to your bank’s – but it’s not.  Once you enter your information into this “Phishing” site, you have given some of your most valuable financial information to a con-artist.  ALWAYS access your bank and credit accounts by entering their web address into your web browser, NEVER through a link.  Reputable companies will not contact you via email about such important matters.
  • Don’t respond to emails offering money in exchange for “helping” an individual transfer money into the country.  These are always scams and have proven to be very dangerous.
  • Password protect your computer and your wireless internet. Use firewalls and virus protection software.
  • Never give personal information to telephone solicitors or door to door solicitors.  Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you placed the call yourself.
  • Lock your car.  Identity theft via “glove compartment” information is on the rise.  Keeping your car locked can ensure you are not an easy target.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.  Purge expired credit cards, insurance cards, and ID’s regularly.  Keep these items at home in a safe place.
  • If you do not have a locking mailbox, do not mail payments using your mailbox.  Always take the mail directly to the post office.

What do I do if think I’ve been targeted?

Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT or www.ftc.gov

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

IMPORTANT: Watch Out for Scams and Identity Theft

Did you know senior citizens are the #1 demographic to be hit with vicious scams aimed at stealing tens of thousands of dollars (and more)?  As someone who works with these same people every single day, it breaks my heart.  The kindness and trust they possess is something we should honor – NOT take advantage of.  But unfortunately there are those in the world who see these vulnerabilities as something to exploit – and they do.  Whether you are a consumer yourself, an adult child of an elderly parent, or a professional working with the senior population, please inform yourself and take the steps necessary to prevent access to priceless personal information.  You will never regret being extra diligent.

Just recently, tens of thousands of dollars was sent to a scammer during a 100% legit real estate transaction because unbeknownst to the buyer, they found themselves the target of a “phishing” email scam, and by the time they realized it was a scam that looked identical to the “real deal”, it was too late and they’d wired money they can never get back.  This happened not once, but TWICE!

This is one of the most common types of scams these days and it’s called “phishing”.  This is where highly skilled con artists use various techniques to obtain information about a pending transaction (common in real estate) or other information they can use to obtain financial information.  Sometimes this information is found by hacking into non-secure servers, other times it’s found by following what someone is saying on Facebook or other online forums.  Regardless of how it’s obtained, both the senior consumer and the professional working with the senior consumer need to be advocates for their privacy.

Here are my tips to prevent becoming a victim of this type of fraud:

1.) NEVER provide personal information via email, always do this over the phone, or over a secure server on a website.  If someone requests it from you in an email, call them.  If you’re a professional working with consumers, never request this information be provided via email.  If you do, you are putting your clients at unnecessary risk.

2.) NEVER wire or transfer money according to instructions you receive in an email – even if you have corresponded with this person.  Fake email accounts look nearly identical to authentic ones and it can be very difficult to tell the difference.  This is VERY important; don’t take the risk.  ALWAYS speak with anyone who is asking you to wire money – preferably in person – and always use the phone number you already have for them, not a phone number sent in an email.

3.) NEVER follow a link that comes in an email to your bank account or other account that will have access to your private, personal financial information.  This includes banks, credit cards, loans, PayPal, IRS, etc.  This is one of the most common phishing scams.  When you receive a phishing email, it will seem you are being alerted to various scenarios – possibly a fraudulent transaction, an overdrawn account, or another “urgent” situation.  Everything looks legit; they will have your name and often more information.  Most of the time these emails are scams!  As soon as you go to the link provided, and enter your login and password, it’s been stolen.  To prevent this, ALWAYS login directly from your internet browser by typing in the website URL directly as you already know it and use it.  Don’t hesitate to call and ask the bank or other institution about the email (using the number you already have, again, don’t use information given to you in a potentially fraudulent email).  All financial institutions want these reported.  It’s how they are stopped.

4.) Whether a consumer or professional working with consumers, ALWAYS use secure hosting and servers with strong security.  Password protect your wireless networks.  Hackers are highly skilled – but you are your own first defense against them.

For more information about protecting yourself against identity theft, click here.  You can never be too careful or diligent in protecting your personal details and assets, or those of your clients.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Watch Out for Reverse Mortgage Scams in Colorado

You may hear about email scams, telephone scams, door-to-door soliciting scams – but what about reverse mortgage scams? Unfortunately just as we have scams in every segment of society and at every opportunity, reverse mortgages and seniors are not immune to such activity.

In the past decade, reverse mortgages also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HCEM), have increased more than 1,300 percent! This certainly offers an astounding opportunity for fraud perpetrators.

What do reverse mortgage scams look like?

Victims may be offered a free home, an investment opportunity, or foreclosure and refinance assistance. Senior citizens are often unsuspecting targets for scammers, as they are not familiar with the multitude of unscrupulous and dishonest “programs” that exist. Scammers reach their victims often through churches, investment seminars, television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

When considering a reverse mortgage product, it is very important to research the company. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Seek out companies that are a member of the Better Business Bureau and associated with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

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.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

How to Spot a Reverse Mortgage Scam

Reverse Mortgage Scams

You may hear about email scams, telephone scams, door-to-door soliciting scams – but what about reverse mortgage scams? Unfortunately just as we have scams in every segment of society and at every opportunity, reverse mortgages and seniors are not immune to such activity.

In the past decade, reverse mortgages also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HCEM), have increased more than 1,300 percent! This certainly offers an astounding opportunity for fraud perpetrators.

What do reverse mortgage scams look like?

Victims may be offered a free home, an investment opportunity, or foreclosure and refinance assistance. Senior citizens are often unsuspecting targets for scammers, as they are not familiar with the multitude of unscrupulous and dishonest “programs” that exist. Scammers reach their victims often through churches, investment seminars, television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

When considering a reverse mortgage product, it is very important to research the company. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Seek out companies that are a member of the Better Business Bureau and associated with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

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.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

IMPORTANT: Watch Out for Scams and Identity Theft

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoDid you know senior citizens are the #1 demographic to be hit with vicious scams aimed at stealing tens of thousands of dollars (and more)?  As someone who works with these same people every single day, it breaks my heart.  The kindness and trust they possess is something we should honor – NOT take advantage of.  But unfortunately there are those in the world who see these vulnerabilities as something to exploit – and they do.  Whether you are a consumer yourself, an adult child of an elderly parent, or a professional working with the senior population, please inform yourself and take the steps necessary to prevent access to priceless personal information.  You will never regret being extra diligent.

 

Just recently, tens of thousands of dollars was sent to a scammer during a 100% legit real estate transaction because unbeknownst to the buyer, they found themselves the target of a “phishing” email scam, and by the time they realized it was a scam that looked identical to the “real deal”, it was too late and they’d wired money they can never get back.  This happened not once, but TWICE!

 

This is one of the most common types of scams these days and it’s called “phishing”.  This is where highly skilled con artists use various techniques to obtain information about a pending transaction (common in real estate) or other information they can use to obtain financial information.  Sometimes this information is found by hacking into non-secure servers, other times it’s found by following what someone is saying on Facebook or other online forums.  Regardless of how it’s obtained, both the senior consumer and the professional working with the senior consumer need to be advocates for their privacy.

 

Here are my tips to prevent becoming a victim of this type of fraud:

 

1.) NEVER provide personal information via email, always do this over the phone, or over a secure server on a website.  If someone requests it from you in an email, call them.  If you’re a professional working with consumers, never request this information be provided via email.  If you do, you are putting your clients at unnecessary risk.

 

2.) NEVER wire or transfer money according to instructions you receive in an email – even if you have corresponded with this person.  Fake email accounts look nearly identical to authentic ones and it can be very difficult to tell the difference.  This is VERY important; don’t take the risk.  ALWAYS speak with anyone who is asking you to wire money – preferably in person – and always use the phone number you already have for them, not a phone number sent in an email.

 

3.) NEVER follow a link that comes in an email to your bank account or other account that will have access to your private, personal financial information.  This includes banks, credit cards, loans, PayPal, IRS, etc.  This is one of the most common phishing scams.  When you receive a phishing email, it will seem you are being alerted to various scenarios – possibly a fraudulent transaction, an overdrawn account, or another “urgent” situation.  Everything looks legit; they will have your name and often more information.  Most of the time these emails are scams!  As soon as you go to the link provided, and enter your login and password, it’s been stolen.  To prevent this, ALWAYS login directly from your internet browser by typing in the website URL directly as you already know it and use it.  Don’t hesitate to call and ask the bank or other institution about the email (using the number you already have, again, don’t use information given to you in a potentially fraudulent email).  All financial institutions want these reported.  It’s how they are stopped.

 

4.) Whether a consumer or professional working with consumers, ALWAYS use secure hosting and servers with strong security.  Password protect your wireless networks.  Hackers are highly skilled – but you are your own first defense against them.

 

For more information about protecting yourself against identity theft, click here.  You can never be too careful or diligent in protecting your personal details and assets, or those of your clients.

 

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Beware: Reverse Mortgage Scams

Reverse Mortgage Scams

You may hear about email scams, telephone scams, door-to-door soliciting scams – but what about reverse mortgage scams? Unfortunately just as we have scams in every segment of society and at every opportunity, reverse mortgages and seniors are not immune to such activity.
In the past decade, reverse mortgages also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HCEM), have increased more than 1,300 percent! This certainly offers an astounding opportunity for fraud perpetrators.
What do reverse mortgage scams look like?

 

Victims may be offered a free home, an investment opportunity, or foreclosure and refinance assistance. Senior citizens are often unsuspecting targets for scammers, as they are not familiar with the multitude of unscrupulous and dishonest “programs” that exist. Scammers reach their victims often through churches, investment seminars, television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

 

When considering a reverse mortgage or HECM product, it is very important to research the company. All reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Seek out companies that are a member of the Better Business Bureau and associated with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.
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.

 

Jan Jordan Reverse Mortgage Info for Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.

 

Tackling Senior Identity Theft

 

Jan Jordan Reverse Mortgage Identity Theft ColoradoWhat is Identity Theft?

 

According to the 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act identity theft is when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.”

 

The three most common types of identity theft are:

  • Financial identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain medical care or drugs)

How does Identity Theft happen?

 

In today’s technology driven society, protecting your identity is more important than ever.  But don’t assume identity theft only happens online.  It can happen anywhere, anytime.  Someone could be watching over your shoulder as you fill out a form at your doctor’s office.  Another individual could be rummaging through your trash, hoping to find a tossed out credit card offer.  Your email program’s spam filter may not be blocking those emails from Phishing websites.  There are many ways to fall victim to identity theft, arming yourself with facts and prevention is key to protection.

 

How do I protect myself from Identity Theft?

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  When filling out forms that include private information, take a seat away from others when possible. Never throw out forms or paperwork that may have your personal information on them, always take these home with you and dispose of them properly.
  • Don’t toss out credit card offers or other junk mail that pertains to obtaining credit.  In addition, any other private information you have – bills, car registration, insurance documents, bank statements – should always be disposed of properly and NEVER put out with your household trash.  These items should be shredded or burned.  In addition, limiting the amount of junk mail you receive by “opting out” of mail distribution lists can vastly decrease your risk.  Opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • Never follow links to bank accounts, credit accounts, PayPal accounts, etc from an email.  “Phishing” emails may appear as a completely legitimate email from your bank or credit card company, warning you of unauthorized transactions or other alarming information.  These emails will include links that take you to a website that looks identical to your bank’s – but it’s not.  Once you enter your information into this “Phishing” site, you have given some of your most valuable financial information to a con-artist.  ALWAYS access your bank and credit accounts by entering their web address into your web browser, NEVER through a link.  Reputable companies will not contact you via email about such important matters.
  • Don’t respond to emails offering money in exchange for “helping” an individual transfer money into the country.  These are always scams and have proven to be very dangerous.
  • Password protect your computer and your wireless internet. Use firewalls and virus protection software.
  • Never give personal information to telephone solicitors or door to door solicitors.  Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you placed the call yourself.
  • Lock your car.  Identity theft via “glove compartment” information is on the rise.  Keeping your car locked can ensure you are not an easy target.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.  Purge expired credit cards, insurance cards, and ID’s regularly.  Keep these items at home in a safe place.
  • If you do not have a locking mailbox, do not mail payments using your mailbox.  Always take the mail directly to the post office.

 

What do I do if think I’ve been targeted?

 

Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT or www.ftc.gov

 

 

Jan Jordan Reverse Mortgage Info for Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.u.

Beware of Reverse Mortgage Scams

Reverse Mortgage Scams

 

Like all businesses, there are representatives that are doing an honest job offering themselves for service and help. And unfortunately there are others seeking their own personal advantage. This applies even to reverse mortgages, as the elderly are often prey to scams. Do not be naive and assume that because the program is there to help, that all the offers are true to the reason the program exists.

 

Having a team on your side of a reputable reverse mortgage specialist and a third party counselor, in addition to friends and family, is a big step to ensuring you are doing everything right.

 

There are some easy red flags to look for.  Here are five giveaways of a reverse mortgage scam:

 

They ask for money up front

Once you submit an application to a reverse mortgage lender it is fairly standard for them to ask for a deposit for the appraisal. This is usually about $300.00 dollars, but can vary slightly. If you are asked to give anything else, stop. Very little money is required before the closing of the loan. Seek advice before moving forward and do not let yourself be pressured.

 

They will offer foreclosure assistance

Credible reverse mortgage lenders will not seek out distressed homeowners to offer foreclosure help.

 

They will show unethical marketing practices

There is a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that holds all reverse mortgage lenders accountable. If a lender is using public means such as community centers, churches, television or even door to door marketing to pique your interest- beware!

 

They employ high pressure sales tactics

If you feel uncomfortable or pressured when meeting with your lender, stop. If your questions are not being addressed or the lender is pushing you to a quick decision, you are still in the driver’s seat and it is time to stop and reevaluate working with them.

 

They lack credibility and reputation
If your reverse mortgage specialist and lender is credible, they will have professional associates such as the Better Business Bureau, the FDIC and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association behind them.

 

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allows seniors to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  The funds can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or even to purchase a home. If you are planning ahead let your specialist guide you creatively to suit your needs and desires.

 

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming.  Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions – Part 3

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeleyThis is the third in a three part series of frequently asked questions about Reverse Mortgage.  You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  If you have questions that are not currently listed, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

 

Will I Lose My Government Assistance If I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

 

A reverse mortgage does not affect regular Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, if you are on Medicaid or other public assistance, any reverse mortgage proceeds that you receive must be used immediately or they may affect your eligibility. Reverse mortgage funds that you retain would be considered an asset, just as other bank funds.

 

Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions – Part 3”

Understanding Identity Theft

Jan Jordan Reverse Mortgage Identity Theft Colorado

 

What is Identity Theft?

 

According to the 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act identity theft is when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.”

 

The three most common types of identity theft are:

 

  • Financial identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain medical care or drugs)

 

How does Identity Theft happen?

 

In today’s technology driven society, protecting your identity is more important than ever.  But don’t assume identity theft only happens online.  It can happen anywhere, anytime.  Someone could be watching over your shoulder as you fill out a form at your doctor’s office.  Another individual could be rummaging through your trash, hoping to find a tossed out credit card offer.  Your email program’s spam filter may not be blocking those emails from Phishing websites.  There are many ways to fall victim to identity theft, arming yourself with facts and prevention is key to protection.

 

How do I protect myself from Identity Theft?

 

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  When filling out forms that include private information, take a seat away from others when possible. Never throw out forms or paperwork that may have your personal information on them, always take these home with you and dispose of them properly.
  • Don’t toss out credit card offers or other junk mail that pertains to obtaining credit.  In addition, any other private information you have – bills, car registration, insurance documents, bank statements – should always be disposed of properly and NEVER put out with your household trash.  These items should be shredded or burned.  In addition, limiting the amount of junk mail you receive by “opting out” of mail distribution lists can vastly decrease your risk.  Opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • Never follow links to bank accounts, credit accounts, PayPal accounts, etc from an email.  “Phishing” emails may appear as a completely legitimate email from your bank or credit card company, warning you of unauthorized transactions or other alarming information.  These emails will include links that take you to a website that looks identical to your bank’s – but it’s not.  Once you enter your information into this “Phishing” site, you have given some of your most valuable financial information to a con-artist.  ALWAYS access your bank and credit accounts by entering their web address into your web browser, NEVER through a link.  Reputable companies will not contact you via email about such important matters.
  • Don’t respond to emails offering money in exchange for “helping” an individual transfer money into the country.  These are always scams and have proven to be very dangerous.
  • Password protect your computer and your wireless internet. Use firewalls and virus protection software.
  • Never give personal information to telephone solicitors or door to door solicitors.  Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you placed the call yourself.
  • Lock your car.  Identity theft via “glove compartment” information is on the rise.  Keeping your car locked can ensure you are not an easy target.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.  Purge expired credit cards, insurance cards, and ID’s regularly.  Keep these items at home in a safe place.
  • If you do not have a locking mailbox, do not mail payments using your mailbox.  Always take the mail directly to the post office.

 

What do I do if think I’ve been targeted?

 

Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT or www.ftc.gov

 

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.