What's the Deal: Credit Report Scams

If your credit score has been a source of stress in your household, you'll want to listen in.

Some people are turning to credit repair agencies to improve that number, but you have to be very careful.

Scammers can not only steal your information, but they can also turn you into a crook.

When trying to make a financial decision for the future, it's often financial decisions from the past that can trip you up.

From buying a car to buying a home, lenders can see your decisions in a credit report.

And some scammers see an opportunity.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are a few easy ways to spot a credit repair scam.

First, if the company asks for payment before they render any services - beware.

Another red glad is if they ask that you do not contact the credit reporting agencies directly.

And if they suggest giving false information when applying for a mortgage or a loan, do not allow them to access your most sensitive information.

Another troubling trend among credit repair scammers is teh promise of an entirely new credit identity which can unwittingly land you in trouble with the law.

You can spot these scams when a service suggests you abandon your social security number as a primary source of identification and instead using a new number they assign and call a CPN - short for Credit Privacy Number or Credit Profile Number.

Here's why this can turn you into a criminal: Many of those numbers they assign you are stolen social security numbers, often from children, which is why they have a clean slate.

This could unknowingly make you an identity thief, even despite your good intentions.

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