Spam Faxes

With more people having home fax machines, unscrupulous vendors are sending spam faxes advertising offers that are too good to be true.

A few weeks ago, a fax came through advertising awesome Caribbean vacations that included air fare for rock bottom prices. i. e. $149 for a 4 day and 4 night all inclusive vacation in Bermuda. It did not have an email address or web site but a toll free number to call. All you need to do is book your trip and give them your credit card number.

I went on the Internet and typed in the toll free number. All kinds of sites popped up where people had their credit card info stolen.

Once again, beware. Do not give your credit card info unless you are sure this is a credible company.

Summer Fraud

Summer is here and so are the roofers and asphault people who go from state to state knocking at people’s doors, and even sending spam faxes to unsuspecting people.

They will check your property and will tell you that either your roof needs repair or replacement, your driveway needs resealing, you have cracks in your cement basement walls, etc. They will quote an outrageous price, and will ask for 1/2 up front and ask you to sign a contract. DON’T!

If you have been approached, you can go on line to see if they are registered with the state. Are they even licensed to work in Maine? Call your local police. Never ever sign a contract or give half the money up front.

Fraudulent “gypsy” companies may take the upfront money and never be seen again, or they will do shoddy work.

These companies prey mostly on the elderly… be vigilant.

Reverse Mortgages pros and cons

If you are living on social security alone, the money from a reverse mortgage can help supplement your SS.

It’s tax free cash and government insured.

You can draw this cash for as long as you live in your home.

If you find you can no longer pay your house insurance of your real estate taxes, the lender has a right to foreclose on your home.

Once you die or leave your home, the home reverts to the lender, which means your heirs will not inherit the family home.

Another word of caution is, if you are a married couple, be sure both are on the mortgage. Under current HUD policy, spouses left in the home when the owner dies or goes into assisted care, the remaining spouse can be forced to leave the home.

Interest rates are high and take a bite of your equity.

For more information, go to and enter “reverse mortgage.”

The Elderly

Frequently, we read about seniors who are relieved of their savings by thieves posing as workers, or family.

What are they to do? In future blogs, we will visit these topics and try to add sound advise on others including reverse mortgages, when your mechanic is charging too much and what about the vendors who sell meat door to door.

Did you know? Maine’s median age is the highest in the country at 42.7.

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