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Susan Tompor: Consumers lose thousands to fake credit repair scheme

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

No doubt, it's tempting to sign up for a "quick fix" to clean up your credit. Who wouldn't want to instantly find a way to add 100 or more points to a credit score to qualify for a rewards-packed credit card? Or maybe, finally, qualify for a great deal on a car loan?

But the Federal Trade Commission and others are warning that any company that charges money in advance for credit repair is going against the law.

The federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, which was enacted in 1996, makes it illegal for credit repair companies to lie about what they can do to clear up a clouded credit report, or charge upfront fees before they do the job they promised to do.

Things can go really bad when consumers latch onto ridiculous claims -- such as that somehow you can piggyback on a stranger's good credit to shore up your credit history.

Yes, there are even a string of YouTube videos to convince you this is brilliant idea.

Some outfits have said things like: "From 620 to 780+ in 3 Weeks? Yes!"


The Federal Trade Commission took action in late June to stop an operator called Grand Teton Professionals that pitched fake credit repair services via various websites, including,, and

The FTC complaint alleges the defendants bilked consumers out of $6.2 million.

Since at least 2014, the FTC claimed, the company and its websites operated an unlawful credit repair scam that deceived consumers across the country.



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