Debt Settlement Scams
How to tell a legitimate organization from a scam.
We see many new companies and websites open up weekly that appear to offer the same thing and claiming to have been in business for a lot longer than they really are or claim they have credentials they don’t really have. Such as stating they were featured on MSNBC, FOX, CBS etc. but in reality, they only paid to have a commercial played on those stations, they were not “featured”.
This is confusing debtors as to who, and what, is valid or truthful. What we suggest is 3 things.
- First, check with a website registrant (a place to buy, sell and register websites), such as www.GoDaddy.com, to see how long the website has been active. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and choose “Who Is search” under Resources. Here you can enter the name of the website youre checking on to determine if the website is brand new, or has been around for a while. Follow the directions and it will show you who registered the website, and When.Find a company that has been in business at least 5 years and don’t take their word for it.
- Second, once you find someone that has been in business for 5 or more years, check their BBB record.
- How long does it say they have been in business?
- When was the BBB file opened?
- Are there unanswered complaints?
- Third, Are they member of a trade organization?Though this is not always the best way to determine if the organization is legitimate, because to belong to most trade organizations you just need to pay the fee to belong, but it could show the company is stable enough to afford to pay to belong. Make sure the company has an ACTIVE status.
- Fourth, use these questions when searching for a legitimate when searching for a legitimate settlement firm.