Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated February 21, 2009)
With anything in today's world, there is potential fraud and scam and you should always be on the look out for anything suspicious, especially when it comes to protecting your money and information. Protecting your credit is one of those tasks that may be a pain sometimes, but one that is always worth it because it preserves your financial reputation. With so many financial things in your life revolving around your credit score, there is a multiplicity of services available to you to help you achieve the best credit score possible. Unfortunately there are also many fraudulent services and scams that can succeed in devastating your credit and finances. However, avoiding these scams simply necessitates an awareness of what credit counseling services actually do and an awareness of your own finances.
When you look into credit counseling, don't just go for whatever offer you see on a flyer on the street or an unknown e-mail. Do your research; check out their website, their offices, and also look into their reputation with the city or state records. When it comes to dealing with your money, you need to make sure the establishments you're working with are legitimate.
Use your brains when investigating credit counseling. Know what they should be asking and if they're asking for information they shouldn't be, then obviously you shouldn't be doing business with them. Scams can easily look like legitimate operations so you need to know exactly what a legitimate establishment looks like so you can detect flaws. There's no quick way to recognize a credit counseling scam, so you should simply put in the time and research.
Especially with credit services, it's not too hard to get caught up in an alluring offer, but if it sounds too good to be true, then chances are it is. Stay realistic when researching counseling agencies. These agencies can be good for helping you figure out what to do with your money and how to best improve your credit score, but do use prudence and caution. While definitely prevalent in today's world, credit counseling scams can be avoided if you simply put in the time to verify and research.
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