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  • Last modified 2357 days ago (April 12, 2012)

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Attorney general warns of new scams

The Better Business Bureau of Kansas and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt released warnings April 4 about a pair of recently popular scams.

‘Smishing’

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new type of text-messaging scam called “smishing.”

People throughout Kansas have been receiving text messages on their phones that claim they have won a Walmart gift card. The messages instruct the recipient to click on a link and enter some information.

There is no gift card, however. It is a scam to get credit card numbers and other personal information that can be used in identity theft.

Many of the messages direct recipients to the web addresses promocenterdaily.com/walmartgift, promocenter.ws/walmart, and walmartgift.mobi. The sites are not owned, operated by, or affiliated with Walmart.

Home mortgage modification

The Office of the Attorney General has received reports of phone solicitations offering assistance related to a recent national mortgage settlement.

“It is illegal to charge an up-front fee for loan modification services,” Schmidt said. “Third parties that claim to offer homeowners access to funds under the national mortgage settlement may be operating a scam. Homeowners receiving such solicitations should not provide any personal or financial information and should report the solicitation to the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.”

Schmidt offered several pieces of advice for consumers:

  • Do not give personal information — including bank account numbers, Social Security number, or even the name of personal loan servicers — to a solicitor. Banks will already have this information.
  • Never pay an up-front fee for mortgage-related services.
  • Call the bank to see relief qualifications under the terms of the settlement.
  • Be skeptical of third-party phone solicitations. Only banks or loan servicers can assist with regard to the recent national mortgage settlement.

Consumers seeking more information on the settlement may visit the attorney general’s website, http://www.ag.ks.gov/mortgage or call the toll-free consumer hotline at (800) 432-2310.

Last modified April 12, 2012

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