- Category: Widget
- Published: Tuesday, 10 May 2016 10:53
- Written by Isaac
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4 Tips for Spotting Credit Repair Fraud
Consumers seeking to repair their credit reports should beware of scam artists, warns Victory State Bank.
The financial institution, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank, cautions that many companies that claim the ability of repairing credit reports are in fact charlatans seeking to steal consumers’ money and identities.
As a means of helping consumer avoid such frauds, the bank is highlighting some red flags of credit repair scams as listed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.
A credit repair company is a scam if:
1) It promises to remove negative information from your credit report.
FACT: No one can legally remove negative information from a credit report that is accurate. Most negative information generally stays on your report for seven years while bankruptcy information can remain on the report for ten years.
TIP: You're entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, so visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get yours today and review it to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. The copy of your credit report will include information about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.
2) It requires an upfront fee before any type of credit repair is performed.
FACT: Under federal law, credit repair companies can’t require you to pay until they’ve completed the services they’ve promised.
TIP: To get free help with improving your credit, visit the City's Financial Empowerment Center.
3) It offers to create a new 'credit identity' for you with different identification (such as another Social Security number or business tax ID number).
FACT: It is illegal to commit identity fraud or misrepresent Social Security or business tax ID numbers under false pretenses.
TIP: To report this credit repair company scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
4) It asks you to sign blank forms and provide personal information so the company can act on your behalf to help with credit problems.
FACT: Signing blank paperwork and giving out personal identity information can lead to identity theft.
TIP: Never sign blank paperwork and don't give out personal information without knowing the reason and with whom you are dealing. There are no overnight solutions to fix your credit history. Consider speaking with a Financial Empowerment Center counselor to find ways to repair your credit and manage your debt safely and for free.
About Victory State Bank
VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.