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Consumer Alert: Callers using property tax relief programs to target seniors

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is joining the Washington State Departments of Veterans Affairs and Revenue in warning consumers about phone solicitors posing as state agents for a senior property tax relief program.

The Department of Revenue was alerted that callers have been contacting Washington seniors and trying to sell reverse mortgages while falsely claiming to work for the state.

Seniors made a number of complaints this week to the Department and to county auditors saying that the solicitors, calling themselves “Seniors First,” implied or overtly stated that they were marketing these programs on behalf of the state.

The callers ask for personal information such as employment status, income, and age, under the guise of helping seniors determine whether they qualify for Washington’s property tax relief programs, or for aid and assistance programs for veterans.

The callers then move into selling their reverse mortgage programs. Some of the property tax relief information the callers provide is incorrect. The people making these calls are not trained to determine whether seniors qualify for state programs.

All seniors who receive these calls are advised to refrain from giving out personal information over the phone to someone they do not know.

Seniors should contact their county assessor offices to find out more about property tax relief programs and the Department of Veterans Affairs(1-800-562-2308) for veteran’s benefits.

The Attorney General’s Office provides more information about reverse mortgages and phone scams and advises you to evaluate all your available options carefully before choosing any mortgage product.

 

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