MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – With the eviction moratorium winding to a close on October 3rd, now is a perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people at a time of confusion and stress.
The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) says that popular scams include offering loans, peddling credit repair services, or promoting government programs. Other common scams are advance fee loans, debt relief, and credit repair scams, which promise a loan – or to repair your credit – for an upfront fee.
According to the BBB, you can protect yourself from these scams by taking these cautionary measures:
- Double check any government programs before you sign up
- Look at the program’s website, read reviews, and if you think you may be dealing with an imposter, find official contact information and call the company to make sure that the offer or program is legitimate
- Be wary of out-of-the-blue calls, emails, or text messages claiming to be from the government
- The government will generally not contact you using these methods unless you grant permission
- Do not pay any money for a “free” government grant or program
- A free program will not require an upfront payment
- Advance fees are a concern
- Not all businesses promising to help you repair bad credit are scams, but if you are asked to pay in advance, that’s a big red flag. In both the U.S. and Canada, credit repair and debt relief companies can only collect their fee after they perform the services promised
- Avoid guarantees and unusual payment methods
- Real lenders never guarantee a loan in advance and fees are never paid via gift cards, CashApp, or prepaid debit card
For more information on government impostor scams during COVID-19 visit the BBB’s website.