Amy Kadir, Mortgage Broker, St Albans, Hertfordshire - How to protect yourself against a mortgage scam
According to figures released by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) older people are particularly vulnerable to investment scams. The FCA figures showed:
• A fifth (22%) of over 55’s and a third (32%) of over 75's believe they have been targeted by an investment scam in the last 3 years
• Over half (55%) of those who have invested in financial products did so on their own, rather than making the decision with family
• One in eight (14%) of over 55’s spend little or no time researching financial investment products before handing over money, rising to a quarter (26%) of over 75’s
Amy Kadir, Mortgage Adviser Lonsdale Mortgages St Albans and member of the Lonsdale Mortgages St Albans mortgage broking team said:
‘Given these statistics released from the FCA it is really important that everyone is aware of the possibility of receiving scam financial texts, emails, letters and phone calls. Obvious things to look out for include mortgage schemes and offers that appear too good to be true. Letters and emails that contain poor grammar, punctuation and bad spelling. Also be wary of letters encouraging you to provide financial information to anyone you don’t know. If you do intend to use a mortgage broker make sure that they are individually registered with the FCA, and make sure the company that they work for is not on the FCA watch list.’
Below are details of tactics the FCA suggest are being used to target older investors.
1. 'Act fast'
The fraudsters offer time-limited products and investments to get people to act fast.
2. 'Keep quiet'
The scammers encourage you to keep quiet about their offers, but if you are not sure about a company that has contacted you it is often good to discuss this with friends and family.
3. 'Everyone else is taking advantage'
Scammers reassure victims that other people have made a similar investment to reassure you that the deal is legitimate.
4. 'I know what I'm doing'
Many older investors may have managed their own finances for many years. The scammers will praise victims for their skills to build confidence.
5. 'I deserve a decent return'
Older people could be susceptible when scammers offer them higher returns and may not consider the risks associated with the products they are being sold.
‘When you are looking for a mortgage whether you are a first time buyer or re-mortgaging again it is really important that you choose a mortgage that is appropriate for you and your lifestyle. Our mortgage broking team have a responsibility to explain your mortgage choices clearly to you. We recently scored 31/35 when the mystery shopper from FT Adviser called Lonsdale Mortgages for mortgage advice. Read - Amy Kadir, Mortgage Broker, St Albans gets excellent mystery shopper score. If you want independent mortgage advice call Amy Kadir, Mortgage Adviser on 01727 845500. We do not take a charge from you for our mortgage advice as we receive commission from the lender when your mortgage is approved.'
‘As a mortgage is secured against your home, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments’