Don’t think that because someone is offering you a loan that person isn’t working to steal what you have! The FDIC warned that some thieves pose as lenders in order to get sensitive personal information. In Beware of Thieves Who Target Loan and Credit Card Shoppers, the FDIC’s Consumer News last Fall suggested 3 precautions:

  1. Deal only with reputable lenders.
  2. Be extra cautious of promotions made via the Internet or Phone.
  3. Be aware of potential mortgage foreclosure and loan modification scams.

But how would you know if a lender is reputable or if the offer is fraudulent?

A reputable lender can generally be recognized by whether he or she represents an FDIC-insured institution, or if he or she is careful about collecting your personal information. You can always contact your state’s Attorney General to inquire as to the legitimacy of any firm operating in the state. You can also call the FDIC at +1-877-275-3342.

Remember, crooks can easily create a website that looks like an FDIC-insured bank’s online loan application system – and all they need is just a few personal identifying items to steal your money.

Make sure you talk to a qualified lender about foreclosures if you have that situation. Anyone who says he or she can “guarantee” or “save” your home may not be speaking from knowledge but from bad motive. Be especially careful if someone is pressuring you to sign over the title to your home or sign documents you haven’t had time to read. If you are dealing with a foreclosure, talk to a good lender about your situation, and if the lender is unable to offer financial assistance, he or she can point you to some helpful government resources such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

Never give your credit card number or its security code to someone who calls you offering a “better card”. Such information can be used to steal money!

Remember, there are thieves out there in lenders’ clothing. Avoid their scams by dealing with reputable lenders with a proven record of reliability and performance.

The people at Peoples Bank are paid to help you with loan and deposit solutions that are helpful, not harmful.