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Scams Now: Fake charities and college debt relief

Posted: 6:00 AM, Sep 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-19 15:30:57-04
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PHOENIX, Ariz. — Scammers are always looking to make a quick buck even if that means taking advantage of those helping others in need.

Hurricane Dorian may be gone, but as most people donate to help those clean up in the months after, you may be a target for scammers.

For example, scammers targeted people using a fake profile for a meteorologist at ABC15s sister station in Tampa, Florida. That page messaged people saying "any amount would be greatly appreciated. Have you ever used the cashapp or Zelle before."

Wiring money is always a scam.

Before you donate:

  • Always ask for specific ways your money will be used.
  • Double check the name of the charity. (Scammers often use similar sounding names)
  • Search for vetted charities like - charitynavigator.org or through the Better Business Bureau .

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Payment plans, lenders, deferment.

Different companies may advertise to help students with college loans, but the Federal Trade Commission says you should never pay for that help. That is true, even if they promise to get your loans reduced or completely wiped out.

In fact, the FTC just filed a lawsuit against two companies - Student Advocates Team and Equitable Acceptance Corporation - claiming they charged debtors hundreds of dollars in upfront fees. A practice that is illegal.

The FTC says: There is nothing these companies can do for you that you can't do for yourself- for free!