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VICTORIA WITHAM 916-718-1751
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Protecting Yourself Against Scams Targeted at Consumers 55+

We  all hear stories on the news about seniors getting scammed out of thousands and none of us think we’d ever fall for such a thing!  However, the scams are getting so much more sophisticated with the advancement of technology, and the number of victims of this type of crime is steadily on the rise.  Here’s several of the most current scenarios to be aware of:

IRS

No one wants to hear that they owe more money to the IRS.  Scammers try to lure victims with phony emails and phone calls claiming that victims are due a refund or threatening that action will be taken because more money is owed.  It’s important to remember that the IRS will never contact you via email or by phone, only by direct mail to the address they have on file for you.

Medicare

This spring, of 2018, Medicare will be mailing out new cards for all users.  Scammers are poised and ready to exploit this and tell victims they need to pay for these new cards.  These cards are free and anyone calling or soliciting you otherwise is not acting on behalf of Medicare.  If Social Security has your current mailing address, you’ll be receiving your new card, free of charge, in the mail.  Your card should arrive any time between April of 2018 and April of 2019.

Your Grandchild is in Trouble

It starts with a phone call from a frantic, youthful voice telling you your grandchild is in trouble.  Many unsuspecting seniors will immediately get concerned and start to unwittingly give the caller information by asking a series of questions.  Then an adult voice comes on the line claiming to be an attorney for the grandchild, but in reality it’s a more sophisticated scammer who is adept at retrieving more information and preying on your fear by telling you he’ll represent your grandchild and get them out of jail, defend him in court etc.  You might be told to wire money to a specific location and not to tell other family members about this or further harm will come to your grandchild.  These are telltale signs of a very popular scam that is originating about of Russia.  The Federal Trade Commission warns that if someone instructs you to pay for something involving your grandchild, a charitable donation or disaster relief via money wiring, loading money on a gift or cash card – this is a scam.

AARP Foundation ElderWatch has established a website that provides additional information and tools to protect consumers against financial exploitation.  For more information visit: AARP Elder Watch . To report fraud or financial exploitation, call AARP Elder Watch at 1-800-222-4444, option 2.

Buying Tips for a Low Inventory Market

While the low inventory real estate market has sellers relocating to Easy Street, the struggle is real for buyers.  In Sacramento, Zillow reports there were 22.5% few homes on the market in December of 2017 as there were the year prior.  Buyers need to remain vigilant, open-minded and flexible to win in this market.  Here… Continue Reading

End of Summer Projects

Stretch out these last days of summer by squeezing in a few more home projects, savoring simple pleasures and, when the me comes, cleaning up the beach toys and preparing the house for a busy fall. Pick from these to‐dos to create your perfect August plan. Finish up outdoor projects. Make use of the long… Continue Reading

You’ve spent a lifetime collecting treasures….

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What is a Home Warranty?

A Home Warranty is a one year service contract that covers the repair and/or replacement of a home’s major mechanical systems and appliances. Buyer’s Coverage, Seller’s Coverage and New Construction Coverage are available for most residential real estate properties. Covered systems and appliances typically include: Electrical, HVAC, Interior Plumbing/Stoppages, Water Heater, Dishwasher, Oven/Range/Cooktop, Garbage Disposal,… Continue Reading

Confused About Your Housing Options?

Let us help you make the best choice for YOU! There may come a point in your life when you current housing situation is not feasible, convenient, or possibly even safe. Maybe you’re simply living in a two-story home and prefer a home without the burden of stairs. Or, maybe you’re an empty nester who… Continue Reading

What A Senior/Retiree Should Know Before Selling Their Home

Anyone selling a home knows that it’s a big decision that requires serious thought and planning. But, if you’re a senior or someone getting ready to retire, there are additional considerations you need to take into account before putting your home on the market. Your home can be a valuable asset (and one that may… Continue Reading

Proposed Changes in Taxes for 2017

To come in 2017 regarding taxes: biggest proposed tax changes since 1986 Proposed changes: Lowering corporate tax rate (currently 35% to 20%) Taxation of future foreign earnings: bringing money back into the country would not be subject to “double tax”. Cost Recovery changing from 5 years depreciation, now can be done in the same year… Continue Reading