Latest scam targets: people facing foreclosure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

Debt release and foreclosure scams are ěvery prevalentî right now, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said. Advertisements for them can be found online, in your mailbox and on television. Cooper said the scams are ěvery high on the list of problemsî his office is dealing with this spring.
ěWeíve seen time and time again where people have paid hard-earned money because theyíre desperate to get out of debt or desperate to save their home,î he said. ěGive money, and you end up further in the hole and losing everything anyway.î
The criminals behind these scams tell you to stop paying your debts and let them handle everything, including contacting all creditors, and all you have to do is pay $3,000, Cooper said.
ěWhat it does, it throws you deeper into debt,î he said.
In North Carolina, itís illegal to charge people up front for help with debt, Cooper said. He helped push through that law because ěthe abuse was so great.î
ěWeíve taken about a dozen of these outfits to court over the last couple of years,î he said. ěWe donít have to prove that theyíve done anything for the people, just that they took money up front. … Weíve gotten a lot of money back for these people.î