The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government agency charged with protecting consumers against fraud, lists some important ways to avoid being a victim of fraud.
- Con artists often insist that people wire money because it’s nearly impossible to get the money back or trace where it goes. Don’t wire money to strangers or to anyone who requires that payment be made through a wire transfer.
- Don’t fall for sales pitches that sound too good to be true, like “97% success rate” or “Guaranteed to save your home.”
- Don’t pay any business or organization who promises to prevent foreclosure or get you a new mortgage. So-called “foreclosure rescue companies” claim they can help save your home but they often want high fees in advance and then stop returning your calls. If a company wants paid in advance to help you should think twice.
- Send mortgage payments ONLY to your mortgage servicer, not another company that offers to handle your finances.
- Don’t send money to someone you don’t know, including online merchants.
- Read your bills and monthly statements regularly. Dishonest merchants sometimes bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services you didn’t authorize.
If you fall victim to these or other schemes contact the Federal Trade Commission or contact us. The action may violate state consumer fraud laws that could result in compensation for you.