In challenging economic times, many people are looking for help getting out of debt or hanging on to their home. Scammers pose as representatives from phony loan companies and use authentic-looking documents, emails and websites to fool consumers into parting with their money. Some sound like a government agency, or even part of BBB or other nonprofit consumer organizations. Most ask for an upfront fee to help you deal with your mortgage company, creditors or the government (services you could do yourself for free), but leave you in more debt than when you started.
They all have a common theme: Victims pay a smaller amount of money in anticipation of something of greater value, but then you receive nothing in return. You should not send a wire transfer to receive a loan or a credit card.
Here are some tips to help you avoid advance fee scams.