Solano Real Estate Scene: Bunch of websites offer financial education

Holy cow! I just searched Google and found a bunch of websites devoted to financial literacy. Investopedia, Nerd Wallet, and many others are giving away some good financial advice and information today. I remember Zillow during its infancy. They gave away free estimates of home values to anyone with a smartphone or a desktop by just entering an address. Now you can see all kinds of websites about your home by simply typing your address into Google. One thing most of these websites have in common is they want data and contact information for as many people as possible so they can sell the data or at least allow advertisers to attract people to click on their link. In 2015, Zillow had $645 million in revenue in 2015 and a whopping $2.7 billion in gross income in 2019 from Realtors buying their data and contacts. I have entered my cellphone number and my email address a few times over the years in websites that I found interesting or where I wanted more information, and now I get phone calls from solar sales people and others because people have my data. Many companies have ways of obtaining my data based on my search history. This is just the way it is and will be this way forever, but let me tip you all off to a scam. Twice in the past two weeks I received a cellphone call from a recorded message from the “Department of Social Security.” This is not a legitimate government agency and I am sure if I hadn’t hung up, I would have been asked to punch in some of my personal nonpublic information. The IRS, the Franchise Tax Board and the Social Security Administration will never call you and ask you personal questions. Western Union will not call you and ask you to wire money to help get a relative get out of jail or out of a jam. Read books, read about financial literacy and investing, but just call a local professional about your financial, legal and real estate needs.