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8/23/2012

Confusing, inaccurate phone calls target older property owners

State, county officials warn of reverse mortgage sales pitch

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Peter Van Nortwick, Assessor
Phone: (360) 397-2092 ext. 4634

Vancouver, WA – The Clark County Assessor’s Office is warning county residents of a telephone marketing campaign that seeks personal information from older residents, implying they could receive property tax refunds or relief.

Seniors in several Washington counties have received calls from telephone solicitors who are marketing reverse home mortgages. The callers identify themselves as agents of “Seniors First.”

The callers ask residents for personal information such as income, age and employment status. Callers say they are trying to help residents determine whether they qualify for the state’s property tax relief programs or assistance to veterans. The solicitors imply they are calling on behalf of the state Department of Revenue.

Confused taxpayers in Clark, Lewis and Thurston counties have contacted the state regarding the calls. The Department of Revenue has alerted counties statewide to the telephone campaign.

“This telephone marketing campaign in no way represents either the state or the Clark County Assessor’s Office,” said Assessor Peter VanNortwick. “I urge residents to be cautious when talking to solicitors and not give out personal information.”

County residents can find accurate information about general tax relief and tax relief for seniors or disabled persons on the county website at www.clark.wa.gov/treasurer/seniordisabled.htm and www.clark.wa.gov/assessor/taxrelief/index.html.

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