Tag Archives: seniors

Facebook Scams Seniors Should Avoid

Senior citizens are frequently targeted and there are new Facebook scams seniors should avoid.

There are two Facebook scams seniors should avoid to protect them from becoming victimized by online scammers. There are assumptions scammers make about their victims such as believing they are less experienced with social media and computers. They assume things that might alert someone else, could appear normal to others who may be their mark.

A common trick is the virus scam, where a phony Facebook friend shares an enticing article link that causes a virus alert to appear with a phone number to call and remove the also phony virus.

Helping Seniors Avoid Catfish on Facebook

People with different levels of experience with social media might be more susceptible to being targeted for scams. Consider a cousin or old friend you don’t hear from very often, there could be a fake Facebook account that looks just like them, but it is really someone else. The term “catfish” is commonly used to refer to someone on social media pretending to be another person.

Help teach seniors that Facebook scams seniors should avoid usually start with a friend request from someone they already friended on Facebook. Let them know that if something seems odd, ask someone they trust before accepting a suspicious friend request. Reassure them if it seems odd to get a friend request from someone they thought was already on their page, it could be a catfish up to no good.

Teaching Seniors About the Virus Scam

Seniors should learn to avoid catfish that scam seniors out of money. The phony Facebook account that looks like your friend or cousin will usually share a link in their feed as bait. When you click on what looks like a normal link from someone you know, the link either infects your computer with a virus, or it causes a loud flashing alert to appear on the screen.

The virus alert says that your computer files are in serious risk of damage and the whole computer system and anything connected to it will self-destruct, for example. When the targeted victim calls the phone number that appears on the screen, the person on the other end demands a large payment to get rid of the virus. It is a scam because there is NO ACTUAL VIRUS. All you need to do in most cases is restart the computer and everything is back to normal.

Ideally the victim of the scam will remember who shared the link they clicked on causing the scammer virus alert in the first place. It is also a good idea to teach seniors to click on the list of all their Facebook friends every now and then to see if there are two accounts for any one person, the signal of a catfish.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., is more than a bankruptcy firm. We are also a hub for positive consumer empowerment through sharing tips and information about financial success. If you or someone you know needs help, call us at (312) 781-0996 or Contact Us on our website. Joseph Wrobel wants everyone to be safe online and wants people to spread the word about Facebook scams seniors should avoid.

How well do you know reverse mortgages?

By now, anyone who watches TV has likely seen advertisements for reverse mortgages. Targeted towards senior citizens who own their homes free and clear. Ads highlight that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) insures over 98 percent of all the reverse mortgages in United States. A reverse mortgage loan allows a home owner, at least 62 years of age, to convert the equity in their home into cash. Some people take monthly payments, lines of credit as well as lump sums of cash as needed. The loan against the equity in the home is secured by the home itself.

When the owner passes away the loan becomes due in full and is often taken from the proceeds of the sale of the home. In other cases, a life insurance policy may be used to repay the loan if home and other property is given to others in a will. The lenders offering reverse mortgages charge fees and surcharges along the way. These fees and the terms of the loan are a function of the life expectancy of the home owner, the value of the home and other factors.

Doing your research is important. The more you can learn about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages, the better decisions you and your family can make.

As the reverse mortgage ads suggest, the children of aging parents can be involved in the process of researching reverse mortgage loans and the lenders. Even if your parents are well-able to manage their financial affairs, it is always helpful to get another opinion, especially when there are so many new financial opportunities for seniors budgeting for and funding their retirement years. While researching, pay attention to credible alerts and warnings published online. Be careful because in the sea of information there is plenty of what looks like news but is really advertising telling you that reverse mortgages are risk free and there is never a need to look any further.

The loans are only as good as the lenders. Homeowners considering reverse mortgages should be notified by their lender that while the reverse mortgage is in place, the homeowner must still pay taxes and insurance on the property and that is not something covered by the lender. Lenders may also charge high fees on loans and get away with it when working with seniors who may have less bargaining power in negotiating the terms of the loan. It is important to know what financial terms are reasonable in the current time and market. Knowing what the competition is offering makes it easier to negotiate a fair reverse mortgage loan.

Beware of what you are risking with reverse mortgage loans and be vigilant. If you must, hire a professional to help you negotiate a better deal and avoid the awful stories told by several loan victims.

Read these stories at Center for American Progress: Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bet Against Seniors:

  • Only press coverage stopped the eviction of a 103-year-old grandmother on a technicality
  • 92-year-old widow evicted for 27-cent shortfall
  • Foreclosure actions that defy common sense

At Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., we help get our clients a fresh start at financial success. We feel strongly that everyone should be financially successful when they have the right tools and knowledge to make the best deals that protect their savings and help grow for the future.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

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