In August of 2019 I first told you about the Federal Trade Commission initiating legal action  against Grand Teton Professionals which  the FTC alleged has been operating credit repair scams since 2014 using the names Deletion Experts, Inquiry Busters and Top Tradelines.  Credit repairs scams are very common  as scammers take advantage of people with debt problems and promise to fix their credit and clear their credit reports of adverse information for up front fees.

Your credit report is one of the most important documents in your financial life.  The information in your credit report as maintained by the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian is used to calculate your credit score.  This is used by financial institutions to evaluate your creditworthiness and can affect your ability to get a credit card, mortgage loan or a car loan.  It also can affect the rate that you will be charged on such loans.  In addition, your credit score is used in many states by companies in making hiring decisions and landlords consider credit scores when determining whether or not to rent an apartment or home to someone. The FTC alleged that Grand Teton falsely promised that they could remove negative items from consumers’ credit reports, charged illegal upfront fees, failed to provide disclosures about their services as required by law and performed other illegal actions through which they cheated consumers out of millions of dollars.  The FTC and Grand Teton have now settled the lawsuit brought by the FTC.  Under the terms of the lawsuit, Grand Teton Professionals had to pay funds to the FTC to be refunded to victims of the scam.  The FTC is sending the refunds through PayPal and people receiving the refunds have 30 days to accept the payment.

TIPS

Don’t fall prey to scammers operating phony credit repair companies. and never pay an upfront fee to one of these companies.  Advance fees for credit repair companies that operate for profit are banned by the Credit Repair Organizations Act.  Negative information on your credit report remains on your credit report for seven years and bankruptcies for ten years.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to scam you.  Many of the scam credit repair companies use illegal tactics such as applying for a federal employer ID to use as your Social Security number when applying for credit.  This is illegal. If you need real credit counseling you can go to this section of the Department of Justice’s website where it lists agencies approved to assist consumers with debt problems. https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111    You also may consider contacting companies that are affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at this link https://www.nfcc.org/

For more information about this refund program go to the tab in the middle of the Scamicide home page entitled “FTC Scam Refunds.”  It is important to note that there is never a charge for obtaining a refund through the FTC or any of its refund administrators.  Anyone who asks for such a payment is just another scammer.

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