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Expert warns of fraudulent advice sites

Expert warns of fraudulent advice sites

Category: Loans

Updated: 12/03/2009
First Published: 11/03/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Consumers facing debt management problems have been warned not to pay for advice they could get for free.

The UK Insolvency Helpline noted that "aggressive sales organisations" are operating, with call centres being used to attract business.

"What they have been doing is fraudulently and unethically using charity and government websites to trick people into thinking that they are going to a free advice service," said money advice coordinator Ian Boden-Smyth.

His comments follow Office of Fair Trading orders for 11 such websites to be closed down, a development that could be of interest to those owing money on credit cards and unsecured loans.

The action was taken after charities complained, having discovered that financial management businesses were using similar domain names to legitimate organisations.

And according to Mr Boden-Smyth, anyone who is struggling should consider using the UK Insolvency Service, Citizens Advice or the National Debt Line in order to obtain guidance without having to pay for it.

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