[r85] Don't fall victim to a scam (4/26/2012)

Thursday, April 26, 2012 7:00 pm

Start Date:  4/26/2012  Start Time:  12:00 AM
End Date:  4/26/2012    

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has put out a notice that scam artists are now using the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest banks to target home owners.

Approximately $25 billion will be provided in relief for distressed borrowers, states and federal government. Indiana will be receiving $43,803,419 from the settlement. 49 state attorneys and the federal government have reached an agreement in Feb. with the country’s five largest loan servicers. They include Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

The agreement is a result from the banks’ foreclosure abuses and fraud as well as unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. The settlement will provide benefits to borrowers whose loans are owned by the settling banks and to many of the borrowers whose loans they service.

Scam artist will potentially be using this settlement as a way to take your money and access your personal accounts. There have been no reported instances of the scam made in Indiana yet, but it is something to be aware of due to the fact it could easily happen. The Attorney General’s Office has offered the following suggestions to educate and help Hoosiers avoid falling victim to this scam.

First, eligible consumers will not have to a pay a fee to collect any money from the national mortgage settlement. Next, scammers may contact you claiming to be from your bank and ask you to confirm personal or financial information. If this happens, make sure to never release any information to an unsolicited caller.

More useful suggestions include what to do if you think the caller is legitimate. Start by asking for the person’s name and title and tell them you are going to call your bank and confirm. Make sure to use the official contact information for the bank and not the number the caller givers you. Scammers are known for giving false contact information and then pretending to be the bank when you call or email them. Lastly, but equally as important, remember that a bank will never ask you for your routing or checking account information over the phone.

Countless numbers of Hoosiers fall victim to scams each year, hopefully now you are more aware and will notice this deceptive behavior and how to address it.

For more information and advice on consumer protection call 800-382-5516 or visit the Indiana Attorney General’s website at: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/.