Archives for October 2012

Mortgage Elimination Scams to Avoid

by: Kristie Lorette

For those struggling to make mortgage payments, there are a variety of assistance and counseling options from the government and from private organizations. However, homeowners should beware of any company promising “mortgage elimination.” The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recognize a number of companies that try to suck in unsuspecting homeowners, defraud them of their savings or even the title of their home, and possibly even leave them homeless. Any company that advertises to help a homeowner eliminate a mortgage—for a significant fee—is almost certainly running a scam.

Lender and Signature

In some cases, the mortgage elimination company will present information to the effect that a mortgage company is profiting from the homeowner’s signature on the loan contract by selling it to secondary mortgage companies. The company will claim that this is fraudulent activity on the part of the lender (despite the fact that it is legal) and that it can assist the homeowner in eliminating the mortgage payment altogether, after the homeowner turns over a fee. The reality is that if fraud is occurring, the homeowner should consult a real estate attorney to see if legal action can be taken. In the unlikely event that the mortgage elimination company can actually do something, the homeowner will end up paying more money in fees to the company and may possibly risk losing his home. A real estate attorney will be able to address the issue effectively and, more importantly, legally.

Currency Value

Some mortgage elimination companies present the idea that a lender cannot legally offer the mortgage due to complex, and often confusing, reasons about the value of the U.S. currency and the money that the Federal Reserve must “create” (through printing) to keep the economy from failing. To put it simply, the mortgage elimination company will claim that because the value of the U.S. dollar is so debased through the Fed’s activities, the lender cannot require the homeowner to pay off the full loan amount, since the loan amount is based on dollars that have no value. The mortgage elimination company will purport to act on behalf of the homeowner by having the homeowner sign a power of attorney and possibly even sign his or her title over to the company, in addition to paying considerable up-front fees. By the time the homeowner realizes what’s going on, the mortgage elimination company owns the property title and the homeowner may lose the property.

Phantom Money from Banks

Similar to the scam regarding currency value, one scam claims that the bank cannot issue a loan because the money does not actually exist. The homeowner will pay the mortgage elimination company an upfront fee (and in some cases, the homeowner will also be required to sign a power of attorney giving the title to the company), and the mortgage elimination company will provide the homeowner with a fraudulent loan release. The homeowner files this loan release form with the county, giving the impression that the homeowner has actually paid off the loan and allowing the homeowner to apply for a new loan. After applying for a new loan, the homeowner will continue the process again and again, until the homeowner is embroiled in multiple default loans. As far as the lenders are concerned, of course, the homeowner owes on the loans, but by this time the mortgage elimination company will have proven that it has no legal case, but it certainly has the homeowner’s fees and possibly even his title.
About The Author

Kristie Lorette is a freelance writer and marketing consultant that specializes in personal finance. She is also the editor of The Mortgage & Credit Diva, a blog devoted to mortgage and personal finance tips, tricks, and advice for consumers. You can read Kristie’s blog at or learn more about her writing and marketing services at

Hey, Tenants! Did You Give The Security Deposit To The REAL Landlord? Avoid A Scam!

by: Chris Wechner

You might be cruising around the Internet looking for a place to rent. Finally, you found the perfect place. You like the area. The rent is a pretty good deal, and the utilities are included. Wow! You’ve got to see this place–today!

There is a scam that takes wrongly takes advantage of people who simply want to find a place to live.

Just because someone has the keys to a place doesn’t mean they have the right to rent it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people trying to take your money without owning the property.

The deal is too good, and you don’t want to risk losing it to someone else. So you give the person showing you the home money to secure it immediately.

This is risky!

Here are a few tips:

1. Pay the first month’s rent and security deposit with a check–not cash.

2. Check to see whether the person owns the property.

3. Talk with neighbors around the place you want to live. They might be able to tell you something that the “landlord” is not willing to share with you. Do this before visiting the property.

4. Ask the landlord for references from his or her other tenants–past or current. Ask what is good and bad about this person for a landlord. Force both; otherwise, it’s too easy for fake landlords to line up people in advance.

Most people are honest. Unfortunately, enough is happening that you should be on guard. These tips are not surefire, but they should help protect you from obvious con artists.
About The Author

If you would like to learn more, you can contact Section 8 Pros at (248) 757-0926 or go to Section 8 Pros helps landlords and tenants meet each other’s needs, focusing primarily on the Detroit city and surrounding areas. They help out of town investors keep their properties productive.

How Can You Tell If You Have Found Legit Paid Surveys Or A Scam?

by: Jeff Schuman

When you want to take surveys online to help you make money there are many of them that you can take but you have to be careful that you find the legit paid surveys and avoid the ones that are not legit. There are some different ways that you can use to help you tell the difference between the two.

One of the first things to understand is that there are paid survey sites and free ones that you can sign up with. Before you can sign up with any of them you first want to spend some time researching them online to find out what others are saying about that survey site.

You also want to do thorough research on the company behind the survey site to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy so you will know that they will provide you with what they promise and won’t offer non-legit surveys.

Another way to tell is if the survey site asks you for a lot of personal information that is not relevant to you taking surveys such as your social security number. No company needs to know this type of information in order for you to make money with them taking surveys.

Also be aware of the sites that claim they are free to sign up with and start taking surveys but when you fill out the application to sign up they ask for your bank information or credit card information. This is not required for free sites and will tell you right away if the site is a scam or legit.

One other way to tell is if the site gives you easy access to their customer support or not. The companies that are legit will always provide this access and will be quick to answer your questions or concerns.

The sites that are not legit will many times not have any way that you can contact their customer support because they don’t provide you with an email or phone number to do that. If this is the case when you find a survey site then steer clear of that site because it is more than likely not legit.

There are also sites that will provide you with an email address to contact them but they will never return your emails with the answers you need.

These are the best ways to use to help you tell the difference between legit paid surveys and ones that are not legit. Just be sure you take your time and do your homework carefully for survey sites to help you legitimately make money online.
About The Author

If you enjoyed this article by Jeff Schuman please visit our begin filling out surveys for cash website today. You will find useful information to help you quickly get paid for your opinion.

How To Spot An Online Ticket Scam

by: Chris Holgate

Police have shut down 100 online ticket scam websites this month, by taking action through the organisation in charge of registering all web addresses; Icann (Internet Corporations of Assigned Names and Numbers).

Typically, however, these sites which sell fake tickets for events ranging from Bruce Springsteen concerts to the Olympic games are incredible difficult to shut down due to most of them being based offshore. As such, not only do many still remain but more will surely form to replace the fallen.

There are however simple steps you can take to help safeguard against potential online fraudsters:

– Does it seem too good to be true? Life can sometimes chuck you a nice surprise although more often than not if something looks too good to be true then you’re going to be left disappointed. Alarm bells should start ringing if you’ve been endlessly searching for seats at the O2, then suddenly you stumble across a random site that appears to have exactly what you’re looking for.

– Does the site look professional? While not necessarily an accurate indicator, I would be cautious of a site that promises premiership football tickets but looks like it knocked up in five minutes by a primary school child.

– Does the page have a page rank? This is one of my favourite methods of checking a sites potential legitimacy. Download and install the Google Toolbar (http:// and this will then provide you with an immediate indication via a small sliding scale just under the address bar as to how ‘important’ Google believes the page you are currently viewing is. This level is established by monitoring the number of ‘important’ sites linking to the page in question; A ranking of zero would immediately indicate that the site is either new or that no other sites have seen it as worth linking to.

– Does the page have an Alexa rank? By downloading and installing the Alexa toolbar ( allows anonymous usage statistics to be collected by a central server. This data can be used to create a massive database which ranks the popularity of various sites on the Internet which is displayed via a small scale within your browser. To demonstrate how this can be useful, consider that Ticket Master (one of the largest legitimate ticket sales sites) is currently ranked the 5,514th most popular on the entire Internet. This is no small achievement and it’s likely they can be trusted unlike a site which claims to be ‘The Biggest and Best on the Web’ while ranking in at five millionth.

– Does the page include contact details? You can always try phoning them before you put your order through to talk to then about your order. If you get a dead dial tone, an incorrect number or it sounds like the guy is talking on a mobile in the pub then it’s time to move on to another site.

– Does the site receive favourable reviews? Do a Google search for reviews of the site you are thinking about purchasing off; others will quickly rant if they have had problems and while all reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt this will quickly give you an idea as to whether the company is legitimate. Also, don’t place too much importance on accreditation logos; the only time they’re worth paying attention to is if it’s a body you recognise that have their own website that can be used to confirm membership.

– Is their site secure? Ensure that when typing in your card details that you have been transferred to a secure server; this can be done by checking that ‘https://’ has replaced ‘http://’ in your address bad. Also, never pay by cheque; a credit card will give you added protection should anything go wrong.
About The Author

Chris Holgate writes a weekly article of all things tech related. He is a copy writer of the online Ink and Toner website Refresh Cartridges These articles can be found in an archive at

Avoiding Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Although the housing market is in dire straights with pending foreclosures, this is one time where you will need your wits about you to make a clear and sound decision for foreclosure prevention solutions. The marketplace is flooded with scam artists waiting to capture desperate prey that will sign on the dotted line for an urgent loan modification. Be sure you explore all your possibilities at the first sign of financial distress, and follow a few tips to avoid the loan modification scams.

1. No Telephone Prospecting

According to FBI statistics, the loan modification companies that approach the client with a telemarketing call have the highest incident for scamming and identity theft. Never give your personal information to someone over the phone, unless you initiated the call and know who you are talking to. In some cases, the caller may be from a legitimate office, and you may check that by getting their name, address, and phone number. If the office is local to your area, you may wish to pay them a visit, rather than doing business over the phone.

2. Read The Fine Print

Before signing any document, be sure to ask many questions until you are fully satisfied with the answers. Unscrupulous loan modification providers often slip a notation at the bottom of the contract that requires a hefty non-refundable deposit or retention of the up-front payment. Some states, such as California, does not permit the loan modification company to cash the client’s check until the services are completed with success. The Department of Real Estate mandates that each firm hold the client funds in a trust account until the loan modification is complete. In such cases whereas the loan mod could not be performed, the DRE ensures the client will get a 100% refund. Check with your state board of real estate for laws and restrictions to protect the consumer, and only do business with loan modifications firms that comply.

3. Check Credentials

Before entering into contract with a loan modification firm, be sure to check for a business license and any track record of complaints. The Better Business Bureau offers online services to gather information on a company and such free services can save you time, energy and money in the long run. If you are in doubt over a loan modification firm, see your local real estate or loan broker for some options. The loan professionals are licensed by the state and subject to disciplinary action should they be negligent in their duties. However, many of the loan modification companies that are not tied to a real estate office have sprung up from nowhere and have no proven track record of their performance. In some cases, an attorney may be your best option if you believe you will benefit from a bankruptcy, rather than a restructuring on your existing loan.

4. No Guarantees

Although there are many qualified loan modification providers, its important to steer clear of the companies that make false claims and promises. A cunning loan modification representative will tell the anxious clients exactly what they want to hear, irrespective of facts and circumstances. A loan modification firm may assert that they will make every effort to contact a lender to reduce your mortgage payments, however, they cannot make a guarantee of the outcome of their services. If the loan modification rep tries to guarantee that your new payments will be in the price range you have in mind, walk away. Mitigating factors such as credit, new income level and more are applied to each individual case, and not every loan modification applicant may be approved. Your income level must be verifiable that you can handle the new payments, and in such cases as a job loss or income reduction, a new bank may decline the loan.


The Department of Urban Development, HUD, has an informative website to educate the distressed homeowner with mortgage counseling, loan modification services and preventive measures to avoid foreclosure. Each state is represented on the site, although procedures and policies may vary across the country. Many of the HUD services are free or offered at a nominal fee, and can be trusted to put the homeowner in contact with internal or external support services.
About The Author

Joe Cline writes articles for Austin real estate. Other articles written by the author related to Lakeway real estate and Austin TX realtor can be found on the net.

Have You Been Scammed By An Online Personals Ad?

by: Ed Opperman

Have you or do you suspect you have fallen victim to a con artist you met though the online personals or a Craigslist ad? If someone you met online through a personals ad seems too good to be true they probably are. If they’re asking for money or a plane ticket you best be careful. These scams can be very elaborate and confusing so you should take a good hard look at the situation.

The way these scammers work is they prey on lonely people seeking companionship through online personal ads. It does not matter if they replied to your ad or you replied to theirs as these scammers work both sides of the ads. But after the first contact they will show greater and greater interest in you attempting to establish daily email correspondence with them in order to gain your trust.

After a while they may claim they need to take aa short trip out of the country, It is usually either a missionary trip, vacation or to visit a relative. Then you’ll get an urgent email describing a terrible accident or robbery and they are stranded without funds and need your immediate financial assistance to get back to the United States. They will almost always ask you to send the funds via Western Union wire transfer. Often times they will make sudden changes to the wire transfer recipient information at the very last second. Once you send the funds you’ll never hear from them again unless it’s to try to get more money out of you.

If this sounds familiar and you have not sent any money yet don’t! It’s probably a scam. the only way to be sure it’s not is to hire an investigator to trace the emails to see who and where this person truly is. If you have already sent the money it may be possible to get it back. You can hire a private detective to trace the emails and locate and identify the person at the other end. If they ‘re in the United States you may be able to get the police involved and get an arrest. Even if they claim to be out of the USA they may be lying about that in order to confuse you. The only way to know for sure is to professionally trace the emails back to the senders location.

There are private investigators experienced in handling these kinds of scams. They can trace the emails for you and verify the person’s identity and location. If it is a scam they can reduce the findings of their investigation to a report that you caan bring to the police.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc
About The Author

Ed Opperman is president of Opperman investigations. If you need a reverse email search to locate a con man, Craig’s List Scammer, runaway or parental kidnapper please visit .

Mattress Veteran Spills Guts on Mattress Scammers!

by: Ken Hightower

We all know how much money can be saved when buying stuff online and mattresses are no exception. In my 30 years in the mattress industry I have seen it all. From companies recovering old mattresses and selling them as new to mattress stores going out of business one day and opening down the street a week later under a new name yet same people. Now it happening online as well so here’s my professional recommendations when shopping online for a new mattress.

First make sure of the obvious, that the mattress company has been around for a while online. A lot of times just finding them at the top of the Google organic search listings is a good indication they’ve been in the mattress business a while because it’s a very competitive field. They have obviously spent a great deal of time and money getting there and they are not likely to give up all their hard work just to make a quick buck. You can visit and hit the “way back machine” and see the previous incarnation of the company’s mattress website you are thinking about purchasing from. If the location and toll free numbers are the same 5 years ago as they are today, well that’s a great sign as well that they are trustworthy and good to do business with. I put little faith in the BBB myself as I have been scammed by companies who the BBB gave an all clear rating for and then would do nothing when I filed a dispute.

The big “insider info” I would like to share about purchasing a mattress online is that it is always best to find a company who actually manufactures mattresses on site. The middleman markup in the bedding industry is huge. Mattresses make more money per square foot in a furniture store than any other item so buyer beware. Mattress manufacturers who sell their products direct to the public can save you a bundle when shopping online. Mattress factories usually have much lower overhead than a Big Box store and work on a significantly smaller markup but yet make it up in volume. This is a win win scenario for price conscious mattress buyers.

Next you want to make sure that they offer at least a 30 day trial period so if you find yourself still tossing and turning on your new mattress you can return it and try something else or get your money back. That brings me to the return process. Make sure that whatever mattress you buy can be easily repackaged and returned to the shipper at little cost. Companies that offer roll packed or vacuum packed beds can definitely save you money on shipping but how the heck are you going to suck down a king size mattress and get it back into that little box it came in? Well you can’t and the return trip can cost an arm and a leg on typical motor freight. The answer to this is to find a bed that comes in sections and assembles inside a zippered cover. Several latex mattress companies offer this type of bed and all you have to do is find the best one with the best price. Once again though, make sure you buy direct from a real factory and not someone who claims yet cannot support their “factory direct” pricing structure.

Videos play an important role in online marketing and with mattresses it’s even more important to know exactly what you are getting because you can’t try them out ahead of time when buying online. Mattresses are like a computer, it’s what’s inside that counts. Once you know what components you want it just becomes a price shopping issue. A video explanation showing the inner workings of the mattress can be very valuable when comparison shopping. I use these all the time on my web site to illustrate what the customer can expect when their new latex mattress arrives :

Bottom line is when you can find a company that meets all the criteria I’ve outlined, you can save a bundle when purchasing a new mattress online and not get scammed by here today and gone tomorrow mattress companies. I hope these mattress buying tips have helped and I just wanted to add one last thing: I have personally seen latex mattresses last for over 40 years. What other kind of mattress can say that?
About The Author

Ken Hightower invites you to learn more about the contents of this article by visiting

Is It Possible To Trace Nigerian Email Scams?

by: Ed Opperman

The Nigerian email scams have been going on for decades. In fact even before the Internet and emailing becalmed commonplace these Nigerian. Today they are perpetrated almost entirely over the Internet via email. If you are not familiar the scam goes like this.

You’ll be contacted by email from a person claiming to be a high ranking official in Nigeria. this person has access to a large sum of money and they need you to help them transfer the money out of the country. all you have to do is give them your bank account and routing number so they can make the transfer. They make ask for a small payment from you up front to cover expenses. Ultimately you’ll never see any money, they will run off with the money you put up for them and they will use your banking information to print counterfeit checks to use in other scams.

If you are the victim of such a scam you are not alone so you should not feel too embarrassed. In fact tens of thousands of people have fallen victim to these scams. Unfortunately the FBI will not be able to help you track down your stolen funds back to Nigeria. There are just too many cases and not enough evidence to build a case.

But all is not lost. many times the “Nigerian scam” is not Nigerian at all. many times con artists located mostly in the USA and Israel have copied the Nigerian scam. In fact they will attempt to use a proxy IP to make it look as if the emails come from Nigeria when actually the crooks could be much closer to home and well within the reach of authorities.

The only way to determine if the trail does end in Nigeria or in the US is to hire a professional to trace the emails back to the sender and get an address to where the email are read and sent from. This is the only way you can recover the money that has been stolen from you. If the email can be traced to the US or to Israel you can get the attention of the legal system to recover your stolen funds.

There are private investigators located in the US that have the skills and tools to trace these scam emails right back to the sender and provide you with enough information to know if you can recover the stolen money or not . It is the only hope you have of ever recovering your stolen money.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc
About The Author

Ed Opperman is president of Opperman investigations. If you need a reverse email search to locate a con man, Craig’s List Scammer, runaway or parental kidnapper please visit .