(PRWEB) November 07, 2011
NumberInvestigator.com, a leading online reverse phone directory, urges homeowners to be aware of potential scams targeting residents facing foreclosure. Arizona’s ABC15 reports that the volatile economic climate has opened homeowners who find themselves behind on mortgage payments exposed to a scam that preys on foreclosure candidates, despite a ban issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent such scams.
The FTC instituted a ban in 2010 to protect consumers from fraudulent mortgage counseling and foreclosure agencies requiring upfront fees to be paid for services. The ban prevents counselors and agencies from collecting fees before the services are provided. This recent scam leverages a loophole that excludes law firms and attorneys who can still collect a ‘legal’ retainer upfront. Illegitimate companies are now aligning with law firms and attorneys so they can return to collecting upfront fees from consumers.
Once these fraudulent companies or individuals receive the victim’s pre-payment for services that have not yet been delivered, they disappear. The unsuspecting consumer will often not realize they have been bilked until several days or even weeks later when it becomes apparent after their calls go unanswered or unreturned. NumberInvestigator.com urges consumers to be wary, and offers the following tips to help them:
- Always verify that the business in question is registered.
- Never give out personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller.
- Before signing, agreeing, or paying an upfront fee check online for reviews, as well as Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the agency or individual in question.
- Using Number Investigator, look up the number, business name, and address associated with unsolicited callers for additional information. Once additional information is obtained help protect other consumers by reporting the offending number on NumberInvestigator.com.
- Beware of anyone using high pressure sales tactics, claiming they need an immediate decision. Legitimate businesses will not use high pressure sales tactics and will give consumers the time they need to make smart decisions.
- Finally, use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let desperation drive foolish decisions.
NumberInvestigator.com is a leading provider of reverse phone lookup services that enable consumers to simply search a number, including cell numbers (where available), landline numbers and VoIP to accurately find the owner of that number. NumberInvestigator.com empowers consumers with a community of users that report and share suspicious or malicious calls and the phone numbers associated with them.