Debt collectors and programs are gaining consumer’s trust by offering them lower interest rates along with making promises that the consumer can reduce what debt they owe. Unfortunately these so called programs in the past have caused the Federal Trade Commission to be more than just concerned. The Federal Trade Commission abbreviated FTC have been investigating and suing companies that are taking advantage of consumers that are looking for help with debt relief. Consumers need to learn how to spot a debt relief scam so that they can avoid putting themselves in more debt and possible losing money. There are several important actions they can do to protect their pockets as well as to avoid losing the money that they have earned.
Consumers Can Spot a Debt Relief Scam
Fortunately as consumers we can take an initiative by taking time to research any company or debt collection firm that has contacted you. These collection companies have a tendency to contact people with a telephone call or by mail. People should not be intimidated by these companies and should ask lots of questions before giving money to anyone. The helpful hints below should help people avoid the scam artist that our in society.
- Check the debt collector agency or business name online at the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any recent complaints filed or other reports. It is also wise to see how long the company has been in business and if they have changed the company’s name or operate under other names in other states.
- There are legitimate counseling services available that can help by placing the consumer into a plan that will consolidate their debt so that only one payment is made each month.
- If the debt collector, firm or agency asks for any upfront cost or fees demand a disclosure and have everything done in writing. Otherwise the company is most likely trying to scam money from you.
- Any company that wants to negotiate a onetime settlement to drop monthly payments for loans especially mortgages which they cannot do and will deceive you the consumer in believing that they can. They are not only deceiving you but their business is conducting illegal representation according to the law.
- The company or debt collector might want you the consumer to discontinue communications with current lenders. The best action you the consumer can do are at this time is not to listen to them or any of their representatives. In many cases lenders that you owe money too will work with you and find a payment that is in your budget.
- Remember as a consumer you do have rights
FTC needs consumer’s to help spot a debt relief scam online
The Federal Trade Commission is there to enforce laws and protect American consumers from people in businesses that have deceiving practices. There are so many of us owning electronic devices the debt relief scammers are using the technology to entice consumers to use their services. Our technology allows the scam artist to use the internet by pop up ads that tell the consumer they are there to help get them the consumer out of debt. All the consumer needs to do is click on the button and a debt counselor is there to help. These types of scams are getting harder for the FTC to catch and investigate. Consumers can help when they use the internet to spot a debt relief scam. There are indications that consumers can watch for as they research ways to find financial help and management.
- If online, video conference or chat request your financial information and say that they can provide debt relief for a cost which sometimes can total to be thousands of dollars. Then request a payment using only a wire transfer and a cashier check to be sent to a post office box.
- Request personal information or have some information but need you to verify if you are the one in debt. They might get this information from credit score websites.
- They may try a video call instead of phone calls because so many of us use cell phones and have requested to be on the National Do Not Call List. At anytime you have the right to hang up the call either as a video or cell.
- Report this call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Center and the States Attorney’s Office in your state to file a fraud complaint.
- These companies have abused and disobeyed the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services which was put in place to protect consumers from loan modification or any type of rescue services for home foreclosures.
The FTC is there to protect us from these crimes and every year they work desperately to catch or investigate these crimes. There is information about businesses helping people get out of debt, which their services are guaranteed and they have professionals that can help you out of debt. Do the research; ask friends, community mentors and neighbors if they have heard about the company. Check online at the FTC website and file complaints. So that these scam artists can be stopped and the victim’s can feel that justice still prevails.