4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Credit Repair Scams
It would be nice if bad credit could be repaired with the wave of a magic wand or making a few of your payments on time. However, as a Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information report has warned, there are no “quick fixes” and anything which claims to lead to immediate repair may be a scam!
If you’re worried about your credit score, you aren’t alone. Millions of consumers have lower than average scores and want to improve their credit. VantageScore saw that out of 220 million people with credit scores, about 68 million of them have bad or poor scores.
Don’t fall for a credit scam that makes your credit even worse. While you will encounter many companies which claim to be an easy fix, follow these tips to avoid being scammed!
Credit Repair Scams to Look Out For
Be Wary of Telemarketers
If you receive a phone call or sales call about boosting your credit score, beware. One risk is that the person on the other end of the phone line is a scammer wanting to get access to your driver’s license number or Social Security number. Another is that they are a paid service who will keep your money without offering any real help.
Always ask for everything in writing, when any sales person calls you. Never give out your credit card or banking information by phone. Also, visit the official website for companies, check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and beware of spoofed phone numbers, emails, or phishing sites.
You should always access your credit report and don’t trust a telemarketer or email which tells you your score is low.
Review your report and look for any unusual activity or accounts. If you see any that you do not recognize, your credit may have been hacked with fraudulent accounts through identity theft.
Removing Negative Items
Negative items on your credit report can only be removed for specific reasons. If an individual or company suggests they can repair your credit by eliminating valid charges, they are lying or seeking to do so fraudulently.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can repair your credit, but it takes patience and consistency.
Credit Counseling Agencies
Legit credit counselors will be able to look over your credit history/report and devise a plan to pay down your credit cards and accounts. They will not ask you for a large amount of money upfront or by phone.
Beware of scammers trying to pretend to be a credit counseling agency! If you have been contacted by a scammer, immediately search their phone number, name, username, photograph, email address, or any other information you have. Social Catfish searches all major search engines and public databases to find the most accurate results on the web. If you think you have already lost money to a scammer, forward the information you found and report the crime to the FTC.
You can keep safe online. Read our blog at Social Catfish to find out other ways to protect yourself and your family from online scammers, spammers, and catfish!