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Avoiding Debt-Relief Scams

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If you’re looking for a way to manage your debt, the last thing you need is to get ripped off by a company that promises to help. According to the Federal Trade Commission, that’s what happened to people who paid hundreds of dollars each to Southeast Trust, LLC. The company contacted people through illegal robocalls and claimed it was a non-profit group that could get them credit card interest rates as low as zero percent. The FTC recently got a $2.7 million judgment against the company and banned it from making illegal robocalls and providing debt- and mortgage-relief services.

There are signs that a company that promises to help you manage your debt may not be on the up and up. Avoid any organization that:

  • charges fees before it settles your debts
  • guarantees it can make your unsecured debt go away
  • tells you it can stop all debt collection calls and lawsuits
  • won’t send you free information about its services unless you provide personal and financial information, like your credit card and bank account numbers

You can work on managing your debt by talking with a credit counseling organization. A reputable credit-counseling agency should send you free information about its services without requiring you to give details about your situation or pay any money before they provide services.

And by the way, about those robocalls? If you hear a recorded sales message and you haven't given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal, and the pitch may be a scam. Hang up. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator or press any other number. If you do, you’ll just get more robocalls. 

Got a minute? Listen to this audiotip about robocalls:

Hang Up On Robocalls

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I'm glad I was able to find this online. The letter looked very official. Our letter was received 9/24/2018...there's still at it.

Hi,
I got the same mail. Just ignored it. I'm posting the their information here in case someone else is checking. The fake letter sent from Debt Finance Department, PO box 25006 PMB 32525, Phoenix, AZ 85002. And their number is 800-597-0255.

This “Debt Relief Dept.” sent me the same exact letter as others have gotten. Someone on another website posted a pic of their letter which is identical in format, even claiming to be an “IMPORTANT SECOND NOTICE,” like mine, expect their letter was supposedly from Arizona and mine was from Delaware. HA!

My mother got the exact same letter - "Debt Relief Dept., 2093 Philadelphia Pike #2554, Claymont, DE 19703". So sick of scammers targeting seniors!! People must still fall for it or they wouldn't keep doing it. Help the seniors in your avoid these creeps!

I just got the same letter from Debt Relief Center, PO Box 25006 PMB 32525 Phoenix AZ 85002 indicating "SECOND NOTICE". Looks incredibly official even with original mail date as of "8/30/2018. Called the number and asked for a Credit card to redeem a $ 100 credit. Hung up, complete scam.

Same I just got this letter too regards to my credit cards being 24K lol what a joke.

My letter came from:
Debt Relief Center
PO Box 256 PMB 32525
Phoenix, AZ 85002

Please beware, this letter went into the trash like it should.

I got a completely legitimate looking debt relief letter from the same place. A lot of attention to detail on this one. I was completely confused and fooled for a couple minutes.
Debt Relief Center PO Box 25006 PMB 32525 Phoenix, AZ 85002
(800) 406-1622
"Our previous attempts to contact you have been unsuccessful. This letter is being sent to you one last time before you are no longer deemed eligible for help by this office..." LARGE arbitrary sum listed owed. Completely fake. 800-406-1622

I also received the same letter from Debt Relief Center, PO Box 25006 PMB 32525, Phoenix, AZ 85002, (800) 625-1558

The first thing that came to mind is it tries to sound like it is debt you already owe. Then I noticed it does not state any kind of bank name or other debtor that is owed the money so that made it very obvious to me.

Same letter, same address, different phone number: 1-800-574-1077.

My husband got today same letter from Debt relief center. It looked so official than I thought maybe it could be real and as I am on the process of trying to go debt free my mind is set up to be opened to any option. I quickly started researching in google and found y’all comments. It’s a scam too . Hopefully people acted the same as me and you guys and don’t end up being scammed by these fake evil idiots

Just got the same letter. Do it have credit card debt. Address: po box 25006 pmb 32325, Phoenix, AZ, 85002. Phone: (800) 319-2366

I received a letter today from
Debt Relief Center
PO Box 25006 PMB 32525
Phoenix, AZ 85002
t: 800-319-2366

According to the letter, I owe an estimate $28K, but they can settle for $14K! Another scam letter. Be careful people!

My saying I owe $19000.00 will settle for $9,500 right mine is Debt Relief Center, PO Box 25006 Phoenix, AZ 85002

Just got same letter here. $17000 debt $8,500 settlement offer. Slimebags.

Same letter. Knew right away it was a scam because I can barely even get a credit card and this one said o have a credit card balance of 32,000 haha.

Debt Finance Department
PO Box 25006 PMB 32525
Phoenix, AZ 85002

(800) 597- 0255

Doesn’t provide any legit information.

I got same mail. Your posts helped me to understand.

Dept Finance Department
PO Box 25006 PMB 32525
Phoenix, AZ 85002

Immediate response to this second notice requested

Our previous attempts to contact you have been unsuccessful. This letter is being sent to you one last time before you are no longer deemed eligible for help by this office. Once we have been contacted, we will have authorization to restructure your open balance to...

Same nonsense letter with this phone number: 800 591-0833

got letter today from
Debt Finance Department
PO Box 25006 PMB 32525
Phoenix, AZ 85002
phone number 800-591-0833
it said second notice and it is the last time they will contact me.
it said $37,000 was owed that they will settle for 18,500
don't have any debt at all. pay off small credit card each month
SCAM for sure. It was to my 89 yr old mom who thank god called me. They have no shame.

I just got a letter in from same address and phone number and saying 'Second Notice'. Red flag was I never got a first notice so what the heck are you talking about. I decided to do some research and found out all of this. What a scam! I recently have been debt free and thought maybe this was one I didn't take care of??? Thank you everyone for giving me peace of mind.

Received letter today from PO Box 25006 PMB 32525, but company name now Debt Finance Department. Note new name!! Same mode of operation. Letter shredded!!

My husband received letter today from the Debt Finance Department in Phoenix, AZ. Letter looked legitimate to him and he went ballistic regarding why do we have such a high debt. I looked at the letter and immediately typed in the address on Google and showed him it was a scam letter. I knew we didn't have that kind of debt on credit cards. Can these companies be reported and stopped from harassing innocent people?

I got the same today (11/26/18) from "Debt Finance Department . P.O. Box 25006 PMB 32525, Phoenix, AZ 85002." They purport that I have $35K in credit card debt and the proposed settlement offer is $17,500 with a monthly payment of $525. They suggest that I call (800) 591-0833. Please look into this.

I knew it! I just received the same letter. I could tell from the headline that I had never done any business with these people, which made me more curious. I opened it up and sure enough it was a bogus letter, I immediately went to google and WOW,its true!! The letter is dated 11/9/2018 to respond by 1/20/2018 My debt was17k in credit cards and they would settle for $8500, well that blew me over because I don’t use credit cards!!!Everything I am reading is true . Please pass it on, it’s the holidays and the jive turkey(s) are busy!!

This is definitely a SCAM!! I just received the same letter and it said the same thing just a different amount! The only thing that’s different is the phone number 1(800)673-2944 the address is the same too! The REALLY big thing for me was ,I don’t use credit cards anymore!! Please tell everyone you know, they contact people they don’t know!

I received the same letter, from “Debt Finance Department”; same address; different phone # (800-673-2944). Why are they still in business???!?

I just received the same letter today with a 800-673-2944 phone number. I know it’s not true since I check my credit. I hope no one actually falls for it.

Every single day we receive a phone call from “Ann”. The weird thing is caller ID often shows it is a legitimate friend’s name and number. I immediately hang up. And I also shred the phones letters coming from the scammers in Phoenix, AZ. My question is: I want to know why the FTC Consumer Department can’t shut this people down.

Thank you this was very helpful as I also received a second letter notice with no other notice preceding it, however I have received several phone calls, and when I get these calls I block the number associated with it. The unfortunate thing about this is the elderly people who may get this and think that it is legit. And yes there should be a way to shut these people down, however they probably rent a P.O. box and sit in there house waiting for the right person to fall prey to their scam.

Im in so much credit card im not even playing
So when i got this letter i was excited that finally i could lower my monthly payments and get out of debt
I called the number the guy was super nice at first i went as far as giving him my dob but when he asked for my social i got a weird feeling so i told him i dont feel comfortable giving my social over the phone and he said “That’s the only way i can help you, you dont want to get out of debt or what?” I said you don’t have to be rude and he hung up. I’m so glad i didn’t fall for it.

Whatever happend to mail fraud? It's still a federal crime, right?

I received the same letter today from "Debt Finance Department”; same address: P.O. Box 25006 PMB 32525, Phoenix, AZ 85002 ; different phone # 8007013446.
I do had credit card debt, so I called the #, after talking amount of settlement, he ask me to give him the bank account # and routing #right away. I stopped. Then I googled this page. this is bad, dangerous.

I received the exact same letter from "Debt Finance Department”; same address: P.O. Box 25006 PMB 32525, Phoenix, AZ 85002 ; same phone # 8007013446.
I immediately googled this page since, I have no credit card or nay other debt. These people are dangerous and try benefit from honest people who work hard for their money. Someone needs to do something to stop them.

I receive an "IMPORTANT SECOND NOTICE" today from Debt Finance Department with the same address that all of you listed. the phone number is 800-701-3446. I knew right off the bat this was a scam but of course, ALWAYS double check!

Debt relief center just called me from 510-224-8569. Saying part of my student loans can now be discharged, & did the Dept of Education email me any info?? Ok, we will email u the info. What's your email?

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