Many people who badly need money make the mistake of doing business with companies that steal money from them rather than lend it. These scams are usually directed at people who already have bad credit. More people are in financial trouble than ever before, and many criminals are taking advantage of this situation. Those who are filing for credit counseling or bankruptcy are at a high risk for these types of scams. Here I will show you common scams and what you can do to avoid them.
Money Up Front Scams
If you are in a situation where you need to file bankruptcy or seek credit counseling, your life is likely already hard enough as it is. The last thing you want is some con artist taking more of your money. Unfortunately, a huge market exists for these types of scams. The most common trick used by debt consolidation services is to make an offer to loan a client money despite their credit history. They will ask that the client pays three months in advance before they are able to loan them money. The company then takes the payments and refuses to loan the client money, stealing from them.
Many of the customers never hear from the company again. Many of these companies make themselves appear legitimate by purchasing advertising space in the local phone book, a place that most people trust to find their information. As more people suffer from debt, these scams will continue to increase.
You should avoid any lender which asks you to pay money up front for the loan. This is generally the first sign that a service is likely a scam. There is no reason you should have to pay a fee up front. Any lenders which ask you to pay before you receive the money are likely con artists. You should only have to pay money back after you've been given money, not before. Many of these services will also try to get you to send out a wire transfer.
Wire transfer services like Western Union are not secure, and there is no recourse available if something goes wrong. The transactions can't be traced, and you should avoid any services which ask you to wire money to them. If you feel the need to borrow money, you should use a service which is recommended by a friend or member of your family. This is much better than calling a random service which you've never heard of.
A Word On The Side Of Caution
It is important to be cautious when looking for loans, especially those which are unsecured. The first thing you should realize is that there is no such thing as a loan which is guaranteed. You should be wary of lenders who promise that you will be approved without bothering to check your credit history.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that many people make a career out of stealing money from others. Much of this fraud is perpetrated by groups which are highly organized. Getting scammed in a situation where you are already on the verge of bankruptcy can be enough to push anyone over the edge. People tend to make the most mistakes when they are desperate. It is important to analyze the situation and study the lender carefully. Anytime you are asked to pay money up front this typically means that it is a fraud, and will not end well if you fall for it.
The most important thing you can do before choosing a lender is to do research. Find out how long a company has been in existence. If they don't have an established history, this likely means they are a fly by night operation, and you will want to avoid it.