Real Estate

Scams Heat Up During Medicare Open Enrollment

Daily Real Estate News - 6 hours 19 min ago

(TNS)—Medicare open enrollment is ongoing and ends December 7. And you better believe the scammers know it.

Maybe it’s someone making a call, claiming to be from your insurance company and demanding information on the spot. Some scammers say you’ll need to buy a gift card or wire money soon so that you won’t lose your health care benefits. Others are trying to get your Social Security number or other information to use in identity fraud.

Signs of a scam include someone who calls and claims to be able to “help you” sign up for coverage or demands to “confirm billing information” so that you don’t lose coverage. Remember, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration will not call you and claim that you must update your information.

Other warnings about scams include:

Watch Out for the Old Back Brace Scam
Con artists are back in action and calling seniors covered by Medicare with all sorts of deals on “free” or “low-cost” back braces, knee braces and other medical equipment. No one from Medicare, of course, is making such calls. It’s only a scam that’s designed to get your Medicare information, according to a recent alert by the Federal Trade Commission.

“If you give them your information, they’ll use it to fraudulently bill Medicare for braces and other medical equipment,” the FTC warns.

Such a move can hurt you because you’d use up some medical benefits and might not be able to get the appropriate equipment, if your doctor later prescribes it.

Smart moves: Never give your Medicare or personal information over the phone to someone who calls asking for it. Check your Medicare Summary Notice to make sure you’re only being charged for services you really got. Don’t fall for paying for things that you didn’t order.

Beware of Calls From Social Security
Consumers are seeing a sizable uptick in callers from impostors claiming to be Social Security Administration agents. Social Security-related calls are now the “go-to” for phone scams after skyrocketing in the first six months of 2019, according to BeenVerified’s Spam Call Complaint Monitor. The scam unseats calls from fake IRS agents, which had been the No. 1 source of complaints during the previous three years, according to the nationwide analysis of more than 200,000 spam call reports.

Spam and robocalls from fraudsters claiming to be from the Social Security Administration accounted for nearly 10 percent of user complaint comments during the first six months of this year—a more than 23-fold increase compared to the first half of 2018, according to BeenVerified, which provides services like reverse call look-up to search who called or texted you.

If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from Social Security or the Office of the Inspector General, report that information online at oig.ssa.gov/report or call the Social Security fraud hotline at 800-269-0271 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

The FTC also has a specific site for Social Security scams: identitytheft.gov/ssa. The site has tips for what to do if you gave your Social Security number to a caller and now are worried about identity theft. One such tip: Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit file to restrict access to your credit report and make it more difficult for identity thieves to open credit in your name.

The FTC site also gives you a spot for reporting Social Security-related robocalls.

©2019 Detroit Free Press
Visit Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Scams Heat Up During Medicare Open Enrollment appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

15 States for Middle Class Prosperity in 2019

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

These states offer the best opportunities for growing personal wealth, with low housing costs, rising incomes, and job growth, according to a new study.

Categories: Real Estate

Metros Where Foreclosures Are Increasing

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

Bank filings to repossess property rose in 36 states last month.

Categories: Real Estate

Where Homeowners Get Decorative Inspiration

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

Find out what consumers are most willing to spend extra money on when furnishing their homes.

Categories: Real Estate

How to Experience a Neighborhood Before Moving In

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

Some house hunters are asking for a “test stay” at a home before signing the sale contract. Here are ways to accommodate their request.

Categories: Real Estate

Study: Diversity a Top Draw for Future Gen Z Buyers

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

Nearly half of potential home buyers in this age group say they believe living in a racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood represents “a positive force in society.”

Categories: Real Estate

The Home Warranty Catch Your Buyers Should Know

NAR Daily News - November 18, 2019 - 1:00am

More sellers are offering this incentive, but does it cover anything that goes wrong after move-in?

Categories: Real Estate

1 in 4 Properties Are ‘Equity Rich’

NAR Daily News - November 15, 2019 - 1:00am

The Northeast and West have the highest levels of properties with loans at 50% or less of their market value.

Categories: Real Estate

Customers’ Favorite Mortgage Lenders Ranked

NAR Daily News - November 15, 2019 - 1:00am

J.D. Power released its latest results that show which mortgage lenders score highest in customer satisfaction.

Categories: Real Estate

Study Confirms the ‘Amazon Effect’ on Housing Is Real

NAR Daily News - November 15, 2019 - 1:00am

Massive inventory shortages, sky-high price spikes, and a blistering pace of sales is now the norm surrounding Amazon’s second headquarters, realtor.com® reports.

Categories: Real Estate

With FHA’s Capital Surge, NAR Calls for Reduced Premiums

NAR Daily News - November 15, 2019 - 1:00am

As the Financial Housing Authority’s financial position improves, NAR urges the agency to consider reducing premiums and eliminating its life-of-loan policy.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Rise Again as Recession Fears Recede

NAR Daily News - November 15, 2019 - 1:00am

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75% this week, Freddie Mac reports.

Categories: Real Estate

iBuyer Bumps Up Price Threshold to $800K

NAR Daily News - November 14, 2019 - 1:00am

Opendoor announced its increased offer amount on qualified properties in its newest market.

Categories: Real Estate

How Marijuana Laws Are Challenging for Your Business

NAR Daily News - November 14, 2019 - 1:00am

Be careful with cannabis-related property dealings, cautioned industry and legal experts at a recent forum during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Categories: Real Estate

Bidding Wars Hit a 10-Year Low

NAR Daily News - November 14, 2019 - 1:00am

However, economists point to low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale that will likely bring bidding wars back next year.

Categories: Real Estate

The House Hunt Won’t Be Easy, Prospective Buyers Say

NAR Daily News - November 14, 2019 - 1:00am

Home shoppers are being realistic about housing shortages during their search.

Categories: Real Estate

Cost Burdens Drop for Owners, Remain High for Renters

NAR Daily News - November 14, 2019 - 1:00am

Fewer Americans are feeling the pinch of mortgage costs—but there’s a catch, new census data shows.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Considering a Video Doorbell? Read This First!

Daily Real Estate News - November 13, 2019 - 3:46pm

Smart home lovers likely rejoice at the continued flood of smart house accessories on the market, one of which are video security doorbells.

According to the experts at Alarm New England, installing a doorbell camera can help secure your home and eliminate risks associated with opening the door for strangers, and law enforcement agencies across the nation are generally in support of the devices as a tool for reducing crime.

The site SafeHome.org offers these additional points to review before you buy:

Resolution
Most doorbell cameras max out at 1080p resolution, and the higher the resolution, the sharper the image, generally speaking.

Night Vision
Night vision capabilities will allow you to clearly see who is at your door even when it’s dark out, giving you security 24/7.

Field of View
If the video doorbell you are considering says it offers 180 degrees, it means the camera can see everything in front of it, and to the sides, while 90 degrees means it can only see to the front, and a tiny bit to the sides. A wider field of view is preferred for nearly all scenarios.

Audio Features
One of the biggest benefits of doorbell cameras is being able to communicate through it to speak with whoever is at the door.

Motion Detection
Look for advanced features such as monitoring specific zones while ignoring others—perfect for houses near a busy street to avoid getting motion alerts every time someone walks or drives by.

Cloud Storage
For security purposes, having a cloud storage option can be helpful. In the event of someone vandalizing or stealing from your property, you’ll have some video evidence ready.

App Support
Be sure the video doorbell you’re buying has excellent app support so you can actually connect to it fast to see who is at your door.

Many web sources remind homeowners that since all video doorbells require a Wi-Fi network, many manufacturers advise placing the device as close as possible to an internet router. If the internet router is located far from a video doorbell, homeowners may want to consider adding a modestly priced internet signal booster plugged into an outlet adjacent to the newly equipped video doorbell to enhance signal quality and speed.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

The post Considering a Video Doorbell? Read This First! appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Which Home Security Systems Make Owners Feel Safer?

NAR Daily News - November 13, 2019 - 1:00am

Crime rates may be at their lowest since the early 1990s, but consumers are still showing a big interest in high-tech home security.

Categories: Real Estate

More than 140 Appliances Stolen From New Homes in Florida

NAR Daily News - November 13, 2019 - 1:00am

Police have been investigating a string of appliance thefts dating back to January 2018.

Categories: Real Estate