Watch Out for the Scammers, Cheats and Thieves

It is a certaintly that as the economy settles lower and lower and the Red Plague spreads, the crime rates and rates of thefts and scams will skyrocket further!  Unfortunately, it is only human nature based on Maslow’s documented Hierarchy of Needs.

We all must be judicious for ourselves, our neighbors and our families.  Many scams will look and smell sweet, seem innocent and be presented by apparently trustworthy souls.  Caution is the watchword.

The tales of woe I hear generated from folks in the jaws of foreclosure and bankruptcy are heartwrenching.  Tales generally go something like this: Scammer will buy your house and then promise to payoff the mortgages.  Sounds great.  Unfortunately, they do take title to the victim’s house but they do not pay off the outstanding mortgages.  Thus, the poor victim has gone from a bad situation to a worse situation!

Other similar scams have to do with putting money up first, for the “lender” to assist!

I have heard that no, I repeat NO real foreclosure counselors (if they are real) will take money upfront.  (Take a look at the resources pages on http://www.moneyassistant.org   http://www.moneyassistant.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=27    )

Also scams are becoming common place with annuities being sold door to door, by unprofessional scammers.  They can have the victim complete paperwork to make an investment or move an existing annuity investment, and the scammer can then change paperwork to benefit themselves or another party, rather than the investor.

Simple steps to take to help guard against getting ripped off include:

  • Do not make investments into annuities or stocks, etc. with a cash payment.  Always make the payment with a check and be sure to receive a detailed receipt.
  • Only deal with an advisor who works out of an established office.  It is too easy to rent an office for a day or to no have an office at all, to make fake cards, and to scram with the money….
  • Ensure you receive a copy of your annuity contract, statements, confirmations, etc. on a timely manner, direct from the insurance company or main office of the investment company.  (We have all heard too many stories of advisors printing statements on their PCs and printers!)
  • Always read statements and notices received.  Follow up immediately if it seems a payment has not been received or something is not clear.   Make sure you get good answers for your questions.
  • Keep copies of all paperwork.
  • Do not sign blank forms.
  • All insurance companies and investment companies have compliance offices and fraud offices.  If you suspect anything, call immediately.

Be judicious and cautious.  You have worked too hard for your money to give it away to a stranger, against your will.

Feel free to share your stories or comments!!!

Advertisements


%d bloggers like this: