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Tackling holiday debt, how to avoid scams

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:21 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - We usually spend more than we anticipate after the holidays, meaning you want to get back on track and pay your debt.

Now scammers are looking to take advantage of those in a vulnerable financial state.

Carmen Million with the Better Business Bureau said people try to avoid dealing with people face-to-face when it comes to their finances.

She said people are going online and being contacted by companies that are not looking out for their best interests.

Million said a man called saying he filled out an application for a loan online.

They told him that he had to buy a gift card and gave away the numbers on the back of the card after he purchased it.

The scammer told him those numbers were not valid and that he needed to purchase another card.

That’s when he realized he was the victim of a scam.

“And of course, he recommended just like with any consumer that you go to an agency, a bank, a credit union that you have a relationship built with,” said Carmen Million, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana. “You want to make sure that you know these people, do you have an account with them. That they have your best interest at heart.”

Million said in most cases those banks and credit unions have a financial advisor on staff that will sit down and work with you through your debt.

She said in this case, the man contacted his bank and they indicated to him that they would’ve given him that loan, but he was too afraid or embarrassed to work with them.

Try to do business with someone locally said Million.

Understand that if you can’t get a loan locally, you’re not going to get one out of state.

But if you received a loan, you have to look at the interest rates and what’s involved. Investigate before you sign on the dotted line.

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