Senior fraud has quickly risen to being one of the most prominent types of real estate and mortgage fraud out there today.
With millions of aging baby boomers heading into retirement, these fraud trends may only keep growing unless they are tackled. How are criminals scamming our seniors? What can we all do to help prevent and minimize it?
Common Forms of Senior Fraud in 2017
Millions of dollars are being stolen from our seniors and families each year. However, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says 40% of cases are not recorded. Some boomers are just too embarrassed to admit they were victims, while others may be unaware or frightened.
Some of the frequent ways these schemes are showing up today include:
- Email scams
- Title fraud
- Predatory mortgages
- Predatory debt collection practices
Criminals have preyed on seniors by hacking their emails, stealing their identity, pretending to be relatives, tricking them into signing over their homes, filing fake liens against their properties, and talking them into harmful loans.
Why Senior Fraud is so Bad
Fraud in general appears to be escalating as criminals use more cunning approaches. They target senior citizens due to their age, mental health, and lack of computer experience. Additionally, our eldest generation has a lifetime of accumulated wealth at stake.
Working to Beat Senior Fraud
While some politicians are working on new bills to help tackle senior fraud, there are things we can all do:
- Be extra diligent in real estate transactions involving seniors
- Stay alert to trending types of fraud
- Spread awareness of the threats
- Have regular family conversations about finances
- Make sure we all, and our family members, have trusts, wills, and healthcare directives in place