Just like death and taxes homeowner Report Scam, rip-offs and cons are a fact of life. The good part about the scams, if there’s any good part, is most of them never change, they just dress in different clothes. But to the uninformed they’re still effective at separating you from your hard-earned money and if you’re not careful your entire home. Of course one of the favorite targets of con artists, shady businesses and even questionable lenders are African American homeowners. African American homeowners continue to be the least informed and less likely to shop around for the lowest loan fees or negotiate.
The reasons I mention the above statement is why I continue to publish this newsletter and the Black Homeowner news site. To get the word out as a defense to those who would try to take advantage of us … knowledge is our only defense.
Now you must do your part by informing other homeowners you know of these scams. The only way these scams have a chance to survive is for those who know them to say nothing or neglect warning others. This scam works to exploit distressed homeowners who face foreclosure. Most of the victims are minority, elderly and low income. But due to the current foreclosure problem , this scam is starting to graduate to middle and even upper middle class neighborhoods.
This scam usually works under the guise of helping the homeowner to avoid foreclosure and saving the homeowners credit. They’ll usually get your authorization to negotiate with your lender on your behalf by signing a few routine papers. What the victims don’t know is the papers. They sign allow them to take ownership of their home (always read the fine print).
Now the swindler can place loans against the property or even sell the property and keep the equity. Reports of these scams litter the files of State Attorney Generals across the country. No this type of fishing is not done with a hook and a pole. This type of “phishing” is done with email. But the purpose is the same, to hook you into giving them your personal identification number or password, etc.
Did you know identity theft is now the fastest growing crime in America? Identity thieves continue to grow more sophisticated and cunning by the day. The latest scheme they use is to send you email that looks like a legitimate bank or lender you do business with … all the way down to the logo. They’ll often ask you to verify personal information because of some legitimate sounding reason. And if you don’t respond they’ll have to close your account or they’ll give some other urgent reason to respond.
Many uninformed homeowners fall for this Report Scam never knowing that banks. And other legitimate organizations never ask you for such information. For example, legitimate companies never request your passwords and personal identification numbers in an email message. When in doubt it’s always best to contact. The lender or business by phone to verify if they’re asking for this information. In fact, most businesses want to know about any emails you receive asking for this information. Because they recognize phishing as a growing problem, they want to know so they can investigate it.