Being in debt is a difficult situation faced by many people. Unfortunately, it can be made much worse when debtors are targeted by unscrupulous scammers posing as debt relief specialists  who steal from the people in debt.  In the Scam of the day for July 18, 2020 I told you that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General had settled their lawsuit against an organization called the Helping America Group that got people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to pay, settle, or obtain dismissal of their debts and improve their credit scores. Over time, victims found their debts unpaid, their accounts in default, and their credit scores severely damaged.  Some were sued by their creditors, and others were forced into bankruptcy.  In the July 18, 2020 Scam of the day I informed you that the FTC was sending more than 16 million dollars to victims of the scam.  Now the FTC is sending a second round of checks to people who lost money to this scam because the FTC was able to recover an additional 6.5 million dollars from the Helping America Group to reimburse victims of the scam.

If you were a victim of this scam and need information about getting your payment from the FTC go to the FTC Refund tab in the middle of the first page of Scamicide.com

TIPS

There are many debt relief companies that may be able to help people with debt problems, however, credit counseling services may be a better and more economical choice for many people.  While there are legitimate debt relief companies, there also are many scammers who will take your money and provide little, if anything, for your payment.  Again, it is important to remember that it is illegal for a debt relief company to charge you a fee prior to settling your debts.  If you are considering using a debt relief company, you should check with your state’s Attorney General and your state’s consumer protection agency to see if there are any consumer complaints against them.  Finally, for detailed information about alternatives to consider if you are having debt problems, go to the FTC’s website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0153-choosing-credit-counselor

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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