Scams. They seem to sprout up like weeds during the spring and times of disasters.

In last week’s column we talked a bit about scams in general and how to avoid them. After reviewing that today, we want to talk about housing-related scams in particular.

Avoiding scams

As we mentioned last week, the Federal Trade Commission has some succinct information on how to avoid scams. In addition, the commission lists some of the current scams to watch out for on their website at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

In their brochure, “How to Avoid a Scam,” which is available online, they list four signs that something is a scam:

— Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know.

— Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.

— Scammers pressure you to act immediately.

— Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.

Housing-related scams

So many interesting economic dynamics have shifted during these last two years including major changes in the housing market.

Unfortunately, that’s often a great time for scammers to concoct a new deception or resurrect an old one in order to cheat someone out of their money and make a fast, illegal buck!

“There’s always going to be someone who jumps in who is going to make money in times like these,” said our longtime housing counselor, Julie Galligan.

Before we get much further, we want to encourage you to call Julie at 360-533-7828 with any questions you may…

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