The scary number of credit-related scams out there can be overwhelming. One of the most serious is credit repair companies that take large sums of money from people who can little afford such expenses. They promise all types of credit repair, and the truth is - most credit repair that is possible can be done by the customer themselves at low- or no-cost. By low-cost, I mean the cost of time for keeping accurate records, writing creditors, and pursuing repair.
I had a chargeoff account on my credit for a period of time that was not mine. I tried many times to remove it. What it turned out to be was some sort of bank artifact related to my former husband Mike's and my long, long ago checking account. It wasn't an unpaid bill, but when it was discovered, bills somehow were sent to an address where neither I nor Mike had ever lived. The terrible total was around $80. For this, I was slagged 50 or more points on my credit for a long time. Finally, after spending quite a few hours on this, I first talked to a horrifying woman in the Bank of America "delinquent accounts" department. You don't want to have to talk to those people. Ever. This bothered me so much that I put my corporate cap on. I wrote a letter to the President of the Bank of America. Two days later I received a call from his assistant. The next day, the horrid thing was off my credit report. And it did not return, not even to the MacArthur of Credit Bureaus (Equifax). I call Equifax the "MacArthur" because if there's ever an old account that you EVER had, it will return. Two, three, four times - maybe more. I don't necessarily mean any credit mistakes. In just one example, Equifax "discovered" the information that I had a Target Card back in the dark ages. They readded it to my credit report, even though I cancelled the card in 2002 or 3 and it wasn't much of an active account to begin with. What will they add next - the auto loan for my Ford Escort, paid off between 1989 and 1993?
Other really bad scams are payday advance loans which charge exorbitant interest, and people who advertise they can improve your credit through file segregation, which is illegal and can produce terrible consequences for the people who try it. This is a good article about scams to watch for in brief. Here is the straight info about file segregation direct from the FTC.
As to scam-busting, I might have vague ideas I might bust some kind of scam someday. Younger, better, stronger, faster than me has already jumped out ahead of the pack. These guys are smart, fast, and any complaints they receive merely indicate what an amazing job they did. Even Meredith and her friends have heard about the ACORN scams, and seen some of the pimp and ho videos. Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, I salute you. In the real world, I've never known of anybody to successfully work with ACORN, and never known of a single beneficial project they've carried off. The only thing I've ever known of that they did with any vigor was the voter registration. I also worked with voter registration organizations previously, and I wasn't favorably impressed with what I saw and heard regarding ACORN in this regard. Signing up a person to vote who hasn't done it before is a good thing. Dragging corpses out of their graves or repeatedly pressing the fingers of convalescent patients in the voting booth? Not so much. Prior to busting ACORN, James' previous expose consisted of writing donation checks to Planned Parenthood and filming them agreeing to put the money toward aborting African-American babies. Niiiice.
This is the way I feel about this stuff now - Can we as a society afford it? People have lived beyond their means for so very long. But the first things cut are things that just aren't productive or important. I watched the "San Bernardino" ACORN video - about half. It was so horrendously dumb and awful that was all I could take. ACORN is actually alleging that the big hair woman who was going along with each appalling request and statement of Hannah and James was "playing along." Riiiite. I bet if he would have given her a check to abort black babies, she would have agreed to that, too.
And plus - if you're "liberal"? Don't condone this crap. This is no more condonable than Fairy Larry's wide stance, after years of persecuting gay people. It's wrong either way and any way. None of this is about politics, really. It's about decency and honesty.