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Scams Heat Up During Medicare Open Enrollment

RisMedia Consumer News - November 19, 2019 - 4:17pm

(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.

Low Inventories Are Pushing Single-Family Rental Prices Up

NAR Daily News Magazine - November 19, 2019 - 1:00am

Metro areas with limited new construction, low rental vacancies, and strong economies are reporting the highest rent growth.

Millennials Worry They’ll Become Lifelong Renters

NAR Daily News Magazine - November 19, 2019 - 1:00am

More young adults say they’re unable to save enough for a down payment to move into homeownership.

Retirees Are Looking for Larger Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - November 19, 2019 - 1:00am

They may be seeking more space to accommodate a live-in parent or visiting family members.

Housing Could Buoy Economy in 2020

NAR Daily News Magazine - November 19, 2019 - 1:00am

Fannie Mae economists revise their outlook based on expected stability in the real estate market.

Study: Most Common Property Descriptions

NAR Daily News Magazine - November 19, 2019 - 1:00am

Agents use these phrases most frequently to highlight their listings.

15 States for Middle Class Prosperity in 2019

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

Metros Where Foreclosures Are Increasing

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

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

Where Homeowners Get Decorative Inspiration

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

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

How to Experience a Neighborhood Before Moving In

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

Study: Diversity a Top Draw for Future Gen Z Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.”

The Home Warranty Catch Your Buyers Should Know

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

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

1 in 4 Properties Are ‘Equity Rich’

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

Customers’ Favorite Mortgage Lenders Ranked

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

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

Study Confirms the ‘Amazon Effect’ on Housing Is Real

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

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

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

Mortgage Rates Rise Again as Recession Fears Recede

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

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

iBuyer Bumps Up Price Threshold to $800K

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

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

How Marijuana Laws Are Challenging for Your Business

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.

Bidding Wars Hit a 10-Year Low

NAR Daily News Magazine - 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.