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Protecting Your Identity: Solicitations vs. Scams

Here’s a little known fact:

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “When you apply for a mortgage, the lender usually gets a copy of your credit report. At that point, an ‘inquiry’ appears on your report showing that the lender has looked at it. The inquiry indicates you’re in the market for a loan. That’s why mortgage companies buy lists of consumers who have a recent inquiry from a mortgage company on their credit report. Federal law allows this practice if the offer of credit meets certain legal requirements.”

If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage or put your house on the market, you may recall how quickly your mailbox, inbox and voicemail filled up with competing offers and solicitations for real estate services, lending opportunities, and movers in your area. While this is a fair practice for companies, it can be overwhelming and intrusive to consumers.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with these advertisements:

Phone Calls
If you notice the calls are coming in fast and furious, make sure your phone number is listed on the government’s National Do Not Call Registry by visiting www.donotcall.gov. Keep in mind it can take 30 days to take effect and it will only reduce, not eliminate, these telemarketing calls. If your telephone company allows you to selectively Call Block, you can add numbers to your account to try and eliminate repeat offenders and robocalls.

Mail
If you don’t have a shredder, invest in one. Rather than tossing solicitations for loans and credit into the trash or recycling bin, make sure you take the time to shred them. Some of these mailers are sophisticated in terms of pre-completing your personal information on glossy “cards” or lengthy applications. Too easy for a “dumpster diver” to grab your mail and attempt to obtain a mortgage or credit card in your name.

Email & Digital Marketing
Remember the saying “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is?” You may find your inbox exploding with junk mail during this period. Be sure not to open anything that looks suspicious or click on any attachments or embedded links. Computer viruses can spread quickly and quietly before it is too late. Some hackers are even clever enough to try and replicate a company’s email system tricking customers into providing their personal information over the Internet.

If you have any questions regarding how we share customer information, please contact us today to speak with one of our local mortgage experts. Your security is important to us!

Cathy Kidd has over 26 years of combined Real Estate and Mortgage experience.  Specializing in first time buyer and government loan programs and getting your loan closed fast.  Connect with Cathy

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