We recently had a customer who was a victim of a debt consolidation scam.
She was contacted by phone from a company (BPT Funding, Inc.) claiming to specialize in debt consolidation and offering to help lower her monthly payments by paying smaller balances off with a cash advance from Discover. A three-way conference call was held between the customer, the fraudulent company and Discover where she was approved for the amount needed to pay off the balances. Discover transferred the funds to her checking account. She made a personal check out for that amount to the fraudulent company who offered to take care of paying all her balances off for her. Unfortunately, her bills kept coming and nothing had been paid off.
After attempting to contact them after 90 days, the phone number she'd been given no longer worked, the company had no website and the only address she had for them was a PO Box number. She now owes the original amounts on her credit cards, as well as the additional funds she had taken as a cash advance from Discover, and the fraudster is $11,000 richer.
If you receive a phone call from a company offering services of any kind, be sure to research them well before offering any information. Check out their website, be sure they have a physical location and customer references. Also, check them out on the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been lodged against them. If possible, consider a local company that offers the same services in order to be assured of access to a physical location and someone you can speak with in person vs. just over the phone.