4 Warning Signs That You Might Be Getting Scammed

This post was sponsored by CreditRepair.com.

You work hard for your money and the last thing you want to do is lose it in a scam. Millions of people fall prey to scams every year. They affect people of all education levels and societal classes. Thieves and fraudsters are evolving with technology and it’s important to identify the signs of a scam as early as possible to avoid costly effects that could take months, even years to erase.

Here are four warning signs that you might be getting scammed:

They Approach You

For most of us, when we want something we conduct research and then contact the preferred vendors or businesses. Unsolicited calls with exceptionally good news are usually a sign of a scam, especially if you haven’t received a written notice from the company before. If you receive a phone call that seems suspicious DO NOT provide any information before asking and receiving the following.

● The employee's name, ID and a call back number with their direct extension if necessary.

● The website of the company they are calling from.

● Information regarding how they obtained your information.

Once you receive this information look up the company online to find out if any search yields information pertaining to scams. If it is legitimate then you can call the employee back at the number and direct extension they provided to you.

The same goes for home improvement scams. According to CreditRepair.com “if someone knocks on your door or calls you and you haven't been investigating any home improvements, beware.”

They Invite You to Check Their Better Business Bureau Rating

Back in 2010 it was uncovered that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) was essentially a pay to play organization. If a company had money to pay the BBB, they’d receive a grade A regardless of customer complaints or customer experiences.

Scammers use the platform as a way to”legitimize” their business. Rather than referring to the BBB check out Yelp for customer reviews or ask friends and neighbors for referrals.

They Request That You Pay Up Front

While some business interactions require a deposit or payments at regular intervals, beware of claims that state that you have won a lottery, prize, or can invest in a great opportunity, if you pay a small fee in advance. According to the FBI, often times these scams require their clients to sign contracts where they agree to pay the fee. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the nonrefundable finders fee according to the contract.

You shouldn’t have to give money to receive your prize money in return.

They Ask For Private Information Without Previous Interaction

Your private information is just that, private. A company that you have no previous relationship with should not request personal information such as bank account information, birthdate, or social security number without providing you ample notice such as a mailing, that they will need this information and that they will be contacting you.

This is not to say that something is automatically a scam if it contains any of the aforementioned warning signs, but it does mean that you should conduct extensive research on the company to determine its legitimacy.

For more information on identifying loan scams in particular visit CreditRepair.com’s Resource Center.

Should you enlist the help of Credit Repair Company?

People approach me all the time with this question and I get it, sometimes navigating the credit scoring and repair process can be a little confusing, but I am absolutely against paying someone to correct your credit report.

Namely because as Neal Frankle said in his Huffington Post article, “In truth, there is nothing that a credit repair firm can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, and do so in less time and at less cost. But there is nothing that will hurt your credit score more than working with a credit repair firm that is not reputable — and there are plenty of those.”

There are only three ways items can be removed from your credit.

1. They age off after the statute of limitations has passed
2. The creditor agrees to remove or correct an item on your report
3. The debt is removed after a successful dispute.

This is the only thing they can be done and rather than paying a company to do it, how about you take a Saturday morning to sit down and type up the letters and take them to the post office.  That’s what you’d be paying a legitimate company to do and god knows what you’d be paying an illegitimate company to do.

Now do not confuse Debt Counselors with Credit Repair companies. There is a difference although people use the terms interchangeably. Debt Counselors usually work for a non-profit entity and do not charge you for advice. Credit Repairs Companies charge you immediately. If they are asking you to whip out your wallet for result, that is a BIG RED FLAG!

I’m a film believer in not paying others for things I can do myself and its one of the ways I have really kept my overhead low.

Have you enlisted the help of a Credit Repair Company? What was your experience?

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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.
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