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Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage

The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

Fall 2007

Beware of Mortgage Scams

For most people, their home is their biggest purchase, and they'll do practically anything to protect it. Unfortunately, that's the reason why fraud artists target homeowners with high-cost and often illegal mortgage offers.

In one common example, con artists promise to erase a bad credit history or make easy loans to people with spotty credit histories. "Most of these offers involve exorbitant fees, come with hidden terms or never provide the promised money," said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC's Financial Crimes Section.

Mortgage foreclosure fraud is on the rise, with thieves posing as lenders or housing counselors offering to "help" people at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. More than likely, the consumer pays high upfront fees for questionable services, and in the worst cases, thieves have tricked people into signing over ownership of their homes.

How can you avoid these types of fraud? "Try to deal only with businesses and other organizations you already know or that have been recommended," said Benardo. He added that it's safe to assume that any offer that sounds too good to be true, especially one from a stranger or an unfamiliar company, is probably fraudulent.

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Last Updated 11/08/2007