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Banks and Trust Companies - Tips

Advance Fee Scams*

Be wary of ads promising guaranteed jobs, guaranteed loans, credit repair, debt consolidation or similar claims. Many of these offers are only a way to get you to send money in advance in exchange for little or no service.

  • Be cautious when responding to advertisements which use 900 telephone numbers. You can be charged substantial and differing amounts for calls to 900 numbers.
  • Be careful with your personal information, including Social Security number, credit card numbers and bank account numbers, among others. Fraudulent businesses could use this information to make an unauthorized charge to your credit card or to withdraw money from you bank account.
  • Before you make any payment, ask the business to send you a contract and other information stating the terms of the service and whether you can cancel the service and get a refund.
  • Ask how long the firm has been in business and if it is licensed properly. Request that the company send you copies of its business or other licenses. Review all contracts carefully.
  • Contact the Illinois Attorney General's office and the Better Business Bureau to find out a company's complaint record.
  • For information on the dangers of these types of scams, call the non-profit National Fraud Hotline at 1 (800) 876-7060 (toll free).

* Courtesy of The U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs

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