North Central Washington- Heads-up regarding a recent telemarketing scheme that appears to be directed at senior citizens. Many phone calls over the last two days from senior citizens who have been contacted by a telephone solicitor marketing reverse mortgages. The callers identify themselves as agents of “Seniors First” and their current target group appears to be Washington senior citizens.
As a lead-in to selling their product, the solicitor asks for personal information such as employment status, income, and age, under the guise of attempting to help the senior determine whether they qualify for our state’s property tax relief programs or for aid and assistance programs for veterans. The solicitors imply that they are marketing these benefit programs on the state’s behalf. This is particularly troubling since some of the information provided to taxpayers was incorrect. For example, one taxpayer was told he could have a refund on property taxes paid for the five previous years and in another case tenants were told they qualified for a property tax exemption on their rental home.At this point, I want to make you and your staff are aware of this marketing campaign in case you receive calls from confused and/or misinformed taxpayers in your county. So far, I’ve received calls from taxpayers in Clark, Lewis, and Thurston counties.