BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The eviction moratorium was extended through Oct. 3 and scammers are still trying to take advantage.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said scams can look like offers for loans, peddling credit repair services or promoting government programs. These specific scams promise a loan or help fix credit for an upfront fee.
BBB tips to protect yourself from these scams:
- Double check any government program before you sign up. If an organization is offering you a grant or relief funds, get to know them before you agree to anything. Take a close look at their website and read reviews. If you think you might be dealing with an impostor, find the official contact information and call the company to make sure the offer is legitimate.
- Be wary of out-of-the-blue calls, emails or text message claiming to be from the government. In general, the government will not contact you using these methods, unless you granted permission.
- Think something seems suspicious? Reach out to the agency directly. If you doubt that a government representative is legitimate, hang up the phone or stop emailing. Then, report the suspicious calls or messages. Make sure the agency is real. Scammers often make up names of agencies and/or grants.
- Do not pay any money for a “free” government grant or program. It is not really free if there is a fee involved. A real government agency will not ask for an advanced processing fee. Instead, find out if the grant is legitimate by checking grants.gov.
- Advance fees are a concern. Not all businesses promising to help you repair bad credit are scams, but if you are asked to pay in advance, that’s a big red flag. In both the U.S. and Canada, credit repair and debt relief companies can only collect their fee after they perform the services promised.
- Avoid guarantees and unusual payment methods. Real lenders never guarantee a loan in advance. They will check your credit score and other documents before providing an interest rate and/or loan amount and will not ask you to pay an upfront fee. Fees are never paid via gift cards, CashApp, or prepaid debit card. Unusual payment methods and payments to an individual are a big tip off.