Fraud Friday: Debt Relief Scams

May 3, 2024 | Featured, General News

Happy Friday! We’re back with more important tips to keep you and your money safe from fraud. This week, we are highlighting a common scheme called Debt Relief Scams.  Let’s dive into five simple steps you can take to avoid falling for these scams.

Understanding Debt Relief Scams

Many Americans struggle with credit card debt. It can be an extremely stressful situation to be in, which scammers love to take advantage of. When you’re stressed about debt, it’s tempting to grab onto any solution put in front of you that seems promising. But watch out! Learn how to spot warning signs and protect yourself from false promises and fraudsters.

Don’t Pay Upfront

If a company is promising to help with your debt but requires money upfront, this is a huge red flag that you are dealing with scammers. A good rule of thumb is to never pay any money upfront to a company you aren’t personally familiar with and have verified the identity of. Legitimate companies won’t ask for payment until they’ve actually done something to help you.

Keep Your Information Safe

If someone you don’t know calls or emails you offering debt relief, be on alert. They might be trying to steal your personal or financial info. Don’t give out any sensitive information unless you’re sure you can trust the person you’re talking to. Research the company online, call the company directly via their verified phone number, and if you are still unsure, your friends here at Guthrie County State Bank are always more than happy to help clear things up.

Be Wary of “Government Programs”

It’s hard to keep track of new laws, bills, and programs put in place by the government–and scammers like to use this against you. Remember: just because someone uses the word “government” doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Be cautious if someone claims they can solve all your debt problems with a special new “government program,” while demanding a fee. Real government programs don’t work that way.

Get Help from Trusted Sources

If you need help managing your debt, turn to reliable sources like credit counseling programs. One option for debt relief can be through a personal loan. We offer personal loans at Guthrie County State Bank and are always more than happy to look into your finances with you to see how we can help.

Stay Informed & Speak Up

Stay updated on the latest scams by visiting trusted websites like ftc.gov/debt. If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Plus, you can always count on GSCB to provide you with advice to protect yourself against scams–and not just on Fridays! At Guthrie County State Bank, we’re here to help you stay safe from scams for life. If you ever have questions or concerns about potential scams, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our #1 priority is to keep your money safe and secure.