Beware of Foreclosure Scams

With thousands of homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage every month, some individuals may jump at the chance to sell their home to the first person who promises to free them from the credit buster of foreclosure or pay to receive invaluable information about how to avoid home foreclosure. Unfortunately, there are unethical people who prey on people that are in desperate situations. The best rule of thumb….if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

What to Look For

To protect yourself from home foreclosure scammers, keep the following in mind:

1. You should never pay for counseling for a home foreclosure. You can receive free counseling from HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and HUD-approved counselors (in the Rochester area, The Housing Council is HUD-approved and provides FREE foreclosure prevention counseling).

2. You also should never accept assistance with loan modification unless it’s through a reputable lender.

3. If someone approaches you to ask you to sign over your deed, do not do it. EVER. Be skeptical of anyone who approaches you – you should be the one seeking out help and always check the business’s legitimacy.

4. If someone tells you to pay him/her your mortgage, for any reason, don’t do it. EVER.

5. Don’t fall for common international scams promising you money if you transfer money for someone overseas.

6. Never give out personal information to anyone on the Internet or phone.

7. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you are at risk for foreclosure, do not work with anyone besides HUD, a HUD-approved counselor and/or your lender.

General Information About All Scams

When dealing with business affairs over the Internet, here are some tips you should keep in mind to protect yourself from fraud.

* Never send money to anyone unless you know for sure (by checking legitimate sources) of their integrity.
* Never give out personal information to anyone.
* Be suspicious of people who approach you via email or websites.
* If something sound too good to be true, it usually is just that.
* Always follow your gut instinct. If something doesn’t sound right, it’s best not to go through with it.

Internet scams should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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