May is Older Americans Month and Iowa State Bank wants the older citizens in our community to be aware of the scams that are out there and how to be financially aware. Your best weapon against financial fraud is educating yourself about common scams. We want to help you learn about how to protect yourself from financial fraud and scams during Older Americans Month.
Scams and fraud targeted at senior citizens to be aware of:
Reverse Mortgages- Reverse mortgage scams are becoming more common in the United States each year. The aim of most reverse mortgage scams is to take the equity from the homes of senior citizens because they are more likely to own the home. Fraudsters also target senior citizens to unwillingly aid in the stealing of equity in a renovated property. If you are contacted about a reverse mortgage, be cautious of the “deal” being offered by the company or person.
Investment Schemes- Whether you are at retirement age or beyond, investment schemes are common for senior citizens. Senior citizens are targeted for attack because fraudsters know you have saved up money for retirement. Be cautious of phone calls, telemarketers and people knocking at your door inquiring about your retirement funds and investment opportunities. Be aware that all “opportunities” may not be as great as they are made out to be.
Lunch & Learn Programs- Keep the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” in mind. A sales pitch will follow the meal, so be ready. Don’t give out any personal information, and don’t put too much stock in what is being said. The presenter knows his product and the wealth demographics associated with your zip code, not your unique financial situation.