Friday, February 4, 2011

A Scam Wrecked Your Credit History

Scams to deceive the public out of money are an ancient practice that the unlawful and unscrupulous have engaged for centuries. Scams are commonplace among those who are desperate for cash. Fortunately for the consumer, states have laws and will hold thieves lawfully accountable for their misdeeds.

If you discover that your credit history has been tainted because you were taken in by a scam, contact:
• The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
• Consumer Protection Agency (CPA),
to make a formal complaint. No one likes to be taken advantage of, but it happens every day. Never be embarrassed to report that you have been taken in by a swindle.

If you fear that contacting the government or another powerful watch-dog group could only make your problems worse, keep in mind that the law was enacted to protect the consumer, not the thief. Authorities are aware that unscrupulous characters for unscrupulous means operate “sting” operations.

If you are a victim of a scam, take time to construct a letter detailing the facts, the name and any other pertinent information about the company who took your money but left you without fulfilling its obligation. In the future, be on the lookout for these red flag signals that scream SCAM:
• The company does not have a phone number or an address to reach someone in the event of a problem (online entities).
• Always contact the Better Business Bureau to check the status of a company. If the BBB has no information or all the information is negative, then this is not a company you want to do business.
• When the company asks you for money up front before it will supply you with the service, your antennae should probably go up.
• If your gut instinct tells you that this company lacks scruples and is only out to defraud the public, try to get out of the contract or business deal right away.

Chances are if you were duped by a scam you will not be able to recoup your losses. You can however rest knowing that your formal complaint raised some red flags and had the fraudulent company closed down, never to defraud the unsuspecting again.

In regard to your credit report, if you formally document a suspected scam, creditors will take note of the fact when accessing your credit history and will hopefully not hold you wholly responsible for your misfortune.

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