In a fairly ingenuous piece of scam-busting, the Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs created an entire front-facing website that mimics and models itself after the usual loan modification scamming websites. It has all the same big-sized fonts, images of distressed people holding their head, and lots of use of the word “foreclosure.” It even has testimonials from made-up people.
The foreclosure fraud website looks so legit that you will actually think that ModExperts is a real company.
However, the moment you click on any of the outbound links, you are taken to a second page which screams: THIS IS A SCAM. You also see a big sign for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.
At this point the fake foreclosure fraud website proceeds to give you advice on how to avoid getting scammed in a loan modification scheme.
Some of the helpful tips on the website are as follows:
- Any service that charges upfront fees should raise a red flag;
- There is no such thing as a no-approval-required loan modification;
- You can't get a loan modification within a couple of weeks as many scammers promise;
- Most of the statistics on illegitimate website are made up.
This is information that will be useful to all Mass. home owners and consumers in general.
Once a person is equipped to be able to identify and spot a fraud, he or she may also be able to take even more affirmative action to recover their lost funds. This could involve going to court.
Civil fraud cases can be filed where bad-faith is involved, and where the penalties are meant to punish the perpetrator and put the victim back in the same position they were in before the fraud took place.
Remember, fraud always involves some sort of false statement, misrepresentation, or deceitful conduct. There may also be filing requirements, like the time-limit within which a case must get to the court, which an attorney would be best able to advise about.
Know your rights and learn about how to protect yourself from fraud. It would be a great way to start a new year.
- Find a Boston Personal Injury attorney (FindLaw)
- Consumer Scams FAQ (FindLaw)
- Loan Modification Scams (Mass. OCABR)
- Protect Your Home from Foreclosure Rescue Scam Artists (FindLaw)