HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — AARP says fake debt relief offers will make your problems worse while lining the pockets of scammers.

This is how it works:
The debt relief program offers “guarantees” to get you out of debt quickly.
You may be required to prepay or pay ongoing charges for the Services.
You are told to stop paying your creditors.

Here’s what you need to know:
AARP says anyone promising guarantees that their debt relief program will get you out of your financial obligations or stop collection calls is lying.
Offers to sign up without verifying your financial information are fake.
It is illegal for debt relief programs to request upfront payment before services are provided.
If the scammer convinces you to stop paying your creditors, those creditors could take legal action against you.

Here’s what you need to do:
Check with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office before working with a debt relief program to see if any complaints have been filed.
Consider negotiating directly with your creditors.
Try connecting with a debt counseling organization, such as the National Foundation on Credit Counseling.

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You should report debt relief scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

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