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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Credit and Loan Phone Scams – Protect Yourself

This morning on KOMO’s Web site I saw a blog article about a Washington resident who was targeted by a potential loan phone scam. In this potential scam, the telemarketer was asking the resident to verify their social security number in connection with an unpaid online loan.

Telemarketing fraud is a common problem and nets many victims a year. It’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs of a possible scam and to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

Steps You Can Take To Protect Yourself
  • Register For The Do Not Call Registry
    By registering for the do not call registry, you essentially tell telemarketers to stop calling. Most legitimate telemarketers recognize the do not call registry and won’t call your number if it’s registered.
  • Protect Your Personal InformationDo not give out personal information such as your social security number, credit card information, or mothers maiden name, until you have done proper research on the company, individual, or offer.
  • Develop A Refusal Script
    Don’t be caught off guard. If you’d like to refuse an offer, have a line or statement you can use every time. A clear and concise no thank you.

Signs Of A Fraudulent Credit Or Loan OfferThanks to the FTC.
  • Not Interested In Your Credit HistoryA lender who is not interested in your credit history, especially during these tough times, should not be trusted. Think about it this way: why would someone out of the blue just call you up and offer you credit on easy terms?
  • "Your Loan Is Guaranteed"Legitimate lenders never "guarantee" that you will receive a loan before you apply.
  • Slick Web sites And Copy-Cat names
    A lender who uses a copy-cat or "wanna-be" name. Crooks give their companies names that sound like well-known or respected organizations and create websites that look slick. Some scam artists have pretended to be the Better Business Bureau or similar reputable organizations.
  • The Lender Or Broker Is Not Registered
    Lenders and loan brokers are required to register in the states where they do business. To check the registration status of a lender or loan broker check with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at or 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
  • Asks You To Wire MoneyA lender who asks you to wire money or pay an individual. Don't wire or make any payment for a loan or credit card directly to an individual.