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With the Federal Reserve Bank expected to increase interest rates, many homeowners are considering refinancing their home. Scammers are taking advantage of this by offering cheap interest rates that require an upfront fee. They are also targeting homeowners who may be late on their mortgage payments. These fraudsters advertise refinancing “bargains” through email, flyers, and phone calls. They are demanding an upfront fee in order to “guarantee” the rate agreed upon. Once you agree and pay the fee the scammers disappear with your money.

Unless you are very familiar with a company, or have been referred by a trusted source, you should never pay upfront fees. Here are some other tactics scammers use to persuade you to refinance:

  •  Using words like “limited time offer” or “act fast” to pressure you to make a decision quickly.
  • Claiming to be a part of a government program or another notable institution to induce you to accept their offer.
  • Insisting that you stop making payments to your current mortgage lender, which can negatively impact your credit rating.

Do not make a hasty decision, especially if the deal seems too good to be true.  Take the time to research and compare refinance options so that you can protect yourself from scams and work with a legitimate and reputable lender with a competitive offer.

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