Retired Teacher Swindled Out of Life Savings in House Purchase Scam

  • Estate Planning
retired Colorado teacher swindled out of life savings in house purchase scam | estate and probate legal group

Imagine this: As you purchase your home, your emails get hacked, and soon, without your knowledge, you are talking with someone who will scam you. You think it’s the same title company you have been working with for the past month. They tell you where to wire the money, and you do, only to find out the $200,000 didn’t go towards purchasing your new home; it went to a scammer. This is exactly what happened to a retired teacher in Colorado.

A real estate and online scam can happen to anyone. But scammers frequently target older adults because they perceive them to be more vulnerable and easier targets.

How to Protect Yourself From A Scam

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot a scammer. These people may call or email you and be polite, charming and even friendly.

Here are some warning signs that the situation may be a scam.

  • Verify the email address. It isn’t easy to automatically see the address of the email. It often simply shows a name. But if you click on it, it will show you the person’s full email address – and if it doesn’t match the business you’re dealing with, stop. Call the company and verify the information.
  • Scammers often ask you for your information to ‘verify your identity.’ A good rule to follow is that if they call you, never give out your information.
  • If you’re asked to act quickly. Scammers want your money before you can talk to anyone else about the situation. They often say you must send the money or information immediately to frighten you.
  • If they ask for payment via a gift card.

The level of scams is increasing, and you’re not the only one to be a target. Therefore, do not be afraid to hang up the phone and verify by looking up and calling the actual business yourself. You are not being rude; you are protecting yourself.

What To Do If You Think You Have Been Scammed

Do not be ashamed if you think someone has scammed you; it happens to many people – this is why scammers are out there. But there are some steps to take immediately:

  • Stop all communication with the scammer.
  • Call your bank. Have them stop all wire transfers, credit card purchases and debit card usage.
  • Call the police. They more than likely will not be able to get your money back, but reporting the scam to local law enforcement will help them gather and utilize the information.

Learn More:

DuPage and Cook County Guardianship Attorney

Are you worried someone you care about may have been scammed and needs safeguards? Call us to schedule a consultation with the experienced guardianship attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group. Call us at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.