There have been numerous financial scams run on the unsuspecting public in recent times. There have been scams through email- looking to get your account information, mortgage loan modification scams, and even Wall Street scams run by the likes of Bernie Madoff. So, when you are in a financial bind, and you need help – how do you know who you can trust? How do you know if a company you are investigating is legitimate or just a bunch of debt relief scammers looking to take your hard earned money? The good news is that this article will help you separate the real from the fake. Take a look below for 5 helpful tips to help you avoid a debt relief scam.
Don’t Fall For A Debt Relief Scam – Tip 1 – Most Companies Are Real – But Be Sure They Are Effective
Most Debt Settlement, Debt Consolidation, and Debt Reduction companies are REAL – but that does not mean that they are effective. So – that means that if you give your business to a debt relief company – they are likely to TRY to help you – but due to poor staffing, lack of experience, and just not knowing what they are doing – your file may not be adequately worked. This means that your accounts may sit with very little follow up and your accounts may not be settled. Do not mistake a poorly run debt consolidation company for a debt relief scam. A poorly run company does not deserve your business – but they are not criminals. Scammers are criminals that take your money and never intend to perform the services you paid for. Most companies out there offering you settlement services are not debt settlement scams – but they may still be unprofessional and ineffective. Be sure to choose a reputable debt settlement company in order to avoid disappointment.
Don’t Fall For A Debt Relief Scam – Tip 2 – A Name Is Just A Name
Even though most debt relief companies on the market are NOT scams – some scam companies still exist. So, how do you know them? Many of the debt relief scams that are out there will use various tactics to gain your trust such as using terms like “Christian Debt Settlement” or “Exodus 債務舒緩計劃 Debt Consolidation.” In other words – some debt relief scams use religious symbols and terms that are meant to make the potential victim more open to trusting them. This is by no means all companies that use such terms and symbols – but scammers will pick up on these things and abuse peoples’ trust.
Don’t Fall For A Debt Relief Scam- Tip 3 – Better Business Bureau
As you know, not all companies are created equal. Most people look at Better Business Bureau ratings to try to determine if a company is legitimate or not. This is a good FIRST STEP. Debt relief scam companies will probably not have any BBB rating at all, because scams do not usually register with the BBB. However BBB ratings do not tell the whole story. The truth is that the BBB rating may not tell you how well a company is run – because people that have complaints tend to be the only clients giving feedback. A BBB rating of “C” might not represent a bad company – but just having a BBB rating at all is a good sign that you are not dealing with a debt relief scam.
Don’t Fall For A Debt Relief Scam- Tip 4 – The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC)
TASC stands for The Association of Settlement Companies. This is an organization that has been established by the debt settlement industry to set norms for debt settlement practices. Make sure the company you are doing business with is a member of TASC and in good standing. There is really no good reason a company should not be a member of TASC or a similar organization.
Don’t Fall For A Debt Relief Scam- Tip 5 – Trust Your Gut Feeling
Really – avoiding a debt settlement scam, or ANY kind of scam, comes down to just trusting yourself to make a wise decision. Call the company, ask questions, see if the answers make sense to you, then ask more questions. Usually there are signs that an offer is too good to be true. Scammers use incredibly good offers to lure you in. If there is NO risk – it is probably a scam. Everything in life has a price and if you are promised the sun, moon, and stars – with no effort on your part – RUN! The truth is that it takes time to get into debt and it takes time to get out of debt. It can be done – in fact it is done every day – but be prepared for the process. If you are being promised that all your debts will be settled in 3 months for just 2 cent on the dollar – you are looking at a debt relief scam.