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DC Councilman Says Bill Would Protect Seniors From Deceptive Flyers

"FINAL NOTICE." "URGENT." "TIME SENSITIVE."

A D.C. Council member says some companies are using those alarming words to trick elderly residents out of their homes.

The flyers sent in the mail are a scam to try to low-ball seniors and get them to sell their homes that are continually rising in value.

Shirley Rivens Smith lives in Northeast D.C.'s North Woodbridge neighborhood and said the majority of the community's residents are elderly.

She said one of her neighbors was especially alarmed after receiving one of the flyers in her mailbox.

"Her concern was that she got a 'final notice' and she was concerned that the 'final notice' meant that something was happening to her house," Rivens Smith said.

Many of Rivens Smith's neighbors have lived in their homes 50-plus years.

"In many cases it's their most prized possession," said D.C. Council Member Kenyan McDuffie.

McDuffie has introducted a bill he says would protect seniors and prohibit the companies from using deceiving terms such as "FINAL NOTICE."

"It empowers the attorney general to go after these bad actors who are using these fraudulent and deceptive practices to prey on senior citizens and other homeowners," McDuffie said.

"In the neighborhood, we're going to start collecting them just to see what it is because somewhere along the line this is postage being paid and everyone in this neighborhood gets one," said Rivens Smith, who is the president of the North Woodbridge Citizens Organization.

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