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Scam Alerts

TrustLink has experience with all types of scams. From snake oil, lottery winnings, guaranteed credit cards, phishing, money offers from Nigeria, "we buy houses"... you name it. We will post info here on emerging scams and fraud and help you protect yourself. Forewarned is for forearmed!

Recent Scams
Call Interception Nets Unauthorized Charges

Consumers calling legitimate companies for a variety of reasons are having their calls hijacked and their bank accounts hit by unauthorized credit card charges. 

As an example of what consumers may experience, a South Carolina consumer called the number given for warranty information on a Sally Hansen product she’d bought.  Her call was answered not by a Sally Hansen representative but by Assist 123, who had intercepted it. Assist 123 first asked her what company she was trying to reach and then told her that that company was having trouble with their customer service line.  Because of that trouble, they wanted to give her a $100 rebate she could use at a variety of well-known stores.  They asked for her contact information and a credit card number to charge her $3.95 for shipping of her rebate and for access to their “information service” number, which they compared to 411. 

This consumer refused to give her credit card number and insisted she only wanted to reach the company regarding the warranty.  She was given another toll-free number, but when she called, she was again asked what number she was calling.  She was never able to reach the Sally Hansen company.[Read more about Call Interception Nets Unauthorized Charges..]

Tags: scams, Assist 123
Watch Out for Telephone Collection Scams Related to Delinquent Payday Loans

Our Ask The Community forum on TrustLink received a lot of complaints about predatory debt collection schemes for payday loans. The names these scammers use that we're hearing about on TrustLink are "First State Attorney", "United State Attorney", "Federal Court of California", and other important or credible sounding names. If you have been contacted by somebody claiming to be collecting on a payday loan, follow the advice stated in the Internet Crime Complaint Center's alert, which follows below (read the whole thing!):


December 1, 2010  

Intelligence Note Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

Telephone Collection Scam Related to Delinquent Payday Loans

The IC3 receives a high volume of complaints from victims of payday loan telephone collection scams. In these scams, a caller claims that the victim is delinquent in a payday loan and must repay the loan to avoid legal consequences. The callers purport to be representatives of the FBI, Federal Legislative Department, various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies. [Read more...]

Loan Modification Tips, Links and Resources - April 2010
mortgage agreement


Mortgage modifications are not possible for every homeowner and no one can guarantee that you'll get a modification. Not all lenders signed on to the government plan to encourage modifications, and even those that have give modifications selectively. Modifications usually require documentation of permanently changed financial circumstances (hardship), and lenders have their own way of defining what constitutes a permanent financial hardship. As a consequence, most modifications or forbearances have been on a trial or temporary basis, often with the savings tacked onto the end of the loan. 

Be prepared to provide to your lender a letter explaining the reasons for your mortgage default or financial hardship, proof of current income, itemized monthly expenses, prior 2 years tax returns*, a copy of a recent utility bill as proof of residence and proof of paid property taxes and homeowners insurance (if not escrowed with your monthly payment). After 3 months of steady payments and more verifications, the loan mod may become permanent.

[Read more about loan modification tips and resources...]
Debt Negotiators/Debt Settlement - What you need to know
Demand has surged for debt resolution options as more Americans are unable to pay their debts. The Debt Negotiation/Settlement industry has exploded in recent years. Hundreds of private for-profit companies and law firms operate in this space - often fueled by telemarketing boiler rooms. There are many reasons why the debt settlement industry is under scrutiny by the FBI, Secret Service, State Attorney Generals, and other financial crime regulators: deceptive marketing, high fees, poor service, severe consequences for customers – they’ve got it all. 

How Debt Negotiators Work - Fee Models and Business Practices
The basic pitch is to convince consumers to discontinue any payments to their creditors in the hope that your creditors will write off the debt and reclassify it as less collectible, and ultimately agree to settle for a greatly reduced amount. They instruct their clients to stop paying credi?tors and to make payments to their company instead, promising to offer a settlement to a creditor as soon as they’ve accumulated enough of the client’s cash to do so. 

Typically, customers are told to set up a separate bank account from which they make payments each month to cover the negotiator’s own fees and to build up cash that will later be used for creditor payoffs. Settlement companies often emphasize that they do not control these funds, or that the account is managed and even disbursed by the client. However, some debt negotiators do structure their business in a way that enables them to withdraw funds directly.

[Read more about debt negotiators...]
MORE on Work At Home schemes, TrustLink warns jobseekers: Never Pay To Get Paid!
Out of work? Looking for employment? You may want to think twice before responding to ads in your local newspaper, on job boards, or on the internet offering very attractive and high-paying jobs with little or no experience required. 

"Help Wanted! Government Office Positions high pay plus benefits no/little experience required!"
"Administrative Job-Medical top pay benefits no experience necessary"

Seeing this employment ad may seem like a dream come true, but answering the company’s job offer could lead to a nightmare. Applicants are often left with lighter wallets and no job. One such employment scam is Civil Career Corps of Santa Fe Springs, California who posts misleading and deceptive employment ads in local newspapers and on online job search sites: 

"U.S. Government $21-$75hr. Full Benefits Openings Available Local & Nat'l Opportunities (562) 944-2001 or (626) 451-6595 Call Mon- Fri 9-3 to learn how you can apply today."

[Read more...]
Tags: work at home
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