Family Finance: Beware of credit score scams - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family Finance: Beware of credit score scams

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

For many people, a new year means a time to re-evaluate your finances and that can include taking a serious look at your credit score. If you're worried about bad credit, experts say the most important thing to remember is that you are the only person who can improve your score, not a third party.

If you don't pay your bills and your credit score plummets, you need to realize there are scammers out there looking to take advantage of your situation. Gobankingrates.com reports the top three credit repair scams to watch out for this year:

  1. Watch out for companies offering services you can easily do on your own. This includes disputing charges and requesting investigations
  2. Watch out for up-front costs. According to Gobankingrates.com, credit repair companies can't require you to pay them until they've finished their services.
  3. Look out for SS-4 scams. This happens when you create a new identity for yourself using an employer identification number. Consumer expert Ross Howard says this basically "turns you into a company," because companies file taxes using these numbers.

"If you do this, and you set up your own employer identification number and you falsify your previous records by saying you didn't have these debts and other things, you could be looking at some prison time for that," he said.

If you want to check your credit score, Howard says visit Annualcreditreport.com, which is the only credit score check sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission.

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