CREDIT REPAIR SCAMS! 5/7/2011
Do scams occur within the industry in Australia? Unfortunately the answer is yes there are credit repair scammers which means you will have to be more diligent when shopping around for bad credit repair services.
Certain signs should trigger your awareness of a possible scam but you need to know what to look and listen out for.
For starters an obvious sign is anyone who does not openly advertise their full business details including address, ABN and land-line numbers. Transparency is mandatory for a legitimate business. If they refuse to provide any of these then you can be pretty sure its a scam.
As far as fees go, anyone who requests very large amounts up front such as around $800 or more with no written guarantee of a full refund is posing a risk too high for you to take. High fees up front simply imply that the supposed repairer either doubts their ability or they will simply do nothing at all.
Progress fees. Some organisations advertise no upfront fees but down the track hit you up for a progress payment. This is not only misleading but simply another way to extract money from you in increments as time goes on. Make sure you specifically ask about progress payments.
Agreements. Read agreements very, very carefully as their are currently people who will verbally tell you that they can fix your file but ultimately you only end up with information being mailed to you. Read every sentence in an agreement !
If you feel you have been scammed you should report the matter to the relevant statutory body who may assist. This may include the Office of Fair Trading or other similar departments.
Legitimate and competent repairers should either charge zero fees upfront or a maximum of around 25 percent of the total job fees. If they are able to do the job for you then this should not be an issue.
Good luck with your credit repair.