What is Pay to Delete Scam?

  • By Greg Brown
  • Published: Jul 24, 2023
  • Last Updated: Aug 01, 2023

Pay to Delete Scams

A lot of scams float around the internet that some people jump at or take a little coaxing to overcome the rejections. A few scams have ready-made targets more than willing to take advantage of the possibilities the scam offers. Fewer still, some scams have a massive target of victims that can never be fully exploited, no matter how many crooks are in the game. 

The big three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion, Experian) say out of the 220 million credit files in the United States, 1 in 5 Americans have subprime scores. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a subprime score is a credit file rating of 620 and below.

Consumers with low tradelines of credit scores are impacted in a variety of negative ways. Credit cards, car loans, and mortgages are nearly unobtainable. The side effects of poor credit are wide-ranging, which many people fail to understand. Entire lives are affected by poor credit, rental housing, utilities, cell phone contracts, and even some jobs require a good credit file.

Every business that extends credit sees a person with a bad credit file as a risk and generally looks no further. Even if that person is granted credit, interest rates, and payments invariably become tough to handle. Pay to Delete, on the outside, seems to be the perfect answer for a desperate person. 

What is Pay to Delete?

Persons with low credit scores pay higher interest rates for major purchases and everyday living expenses. Some people become desperate to improve their scores for a variety of reasons. Many of these same people consider a tactic known as Pay For Delete. This tactic is an agreement with a creditor to pay all or part of the debt in exchange for the creditor removing specific items on their credit file. 

A key part of the agreement is the creditor calling each of the big three credit reporting bureaus and requesting the file to be updated by removing any indication of derogatory payment history.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act governs how credit files can be sold and updated. Anything creditors or bureaus do regarding a credit file is based on the FCRA. Consumers have the right to dispute any information in their credit file, which the bureau must investigate. Pay For Delete is not prohibited by the FCRA and should never be viewed as a “get out of bad credit jail-free card.” Consumers can force “only” inaccurate and incomplete items off their files; any other information is at the discretion of the creditor or collector.

How Pay To Delete Scam Works?

Generally, scammers have no moral compass to fall back on and rely on scamming vulnerable persons at the lowest stage of their lives. Pay to Delete is a desperate move by someone with abysmal credit trying to fight their way out of a desperate situation. Scammers prey on this desperation.

how to avoid pay to delete scams

Imagine this scenario: You may be in the habit of constantly checking your credit reporting bureau for any harmful activity, and then one day, a charge shows up of which you have no idea of its origin. You cannot get it off your credit file and then decide to call a credit fix-it organization you’ve seen in the newspaper. The person answering the phone gives you all the right answers, and you are hooked. For a small percentage of the total debt, the company guarantees results. With additional coaxing, the company representative guarantees that if you send in the total debt, they will have the charge off your credit file by the end of the week. The money is sent, which is the last time you see the company and your money.

The above is a single example of a Pay to Delete scam, and there are plenty more. There are legitimate ways to try and correct a bad credit file. However, the most critical ingredient is time. Seven years after the last overdue payment, the evidence will come off the credit report.

What are the Signs of a Pay to Delete Scam?

Even though a person is in a difficult debt situation, they should look for the signs. Some of the most noticeable signs to watch out for.

  • Recorded phone messages or robocalls are the first and most effective way to hook a victim. Any sign of interest on the victim’s part, and most assuredly, they have you hooked.
  • If any debt relief helps but entails an upfront payment, this is a scam. Reputable companies never ask for money upfront without justifying the money. This is a vital sign of a scam. 
  • Scammers do their best to sound legitimate and often use affiliations. Callers will refer to available government programs or state and local affiliations to sound credible to the victim. Callers often refer to government loopholes they can exploit to get tradelines removed. 
  • Scammers often guarantee absurd results. Results such as a specific instance on your credit file are a definite red flag. 
  • Bogus debt settlement companies invariably never refer to the consequences of your actions. Loopholes, false reporting, and bogus debt relief letters are fraud and will be prosecuted. Scammers rarely refer to illegal activities and deflect the conversation to other topics if asked.
  • Reputable debt settlement organizations take the time to look over a client’s information before agreeing to represent them. Once a scammer has any indication you agree with their ideas, they go right for the kill and take you on as a client. Asking for money is always the next step.
  • Too many promises from a company is a bad omen and should be avoided at all costs. Legitimate companies stop short on making more promises than what they can legally deliver. Scammers promise the moon and a lot more.

Make Sure You Pay Attention So You Do Not Become a Victim of a Pay to Delete Scam

Desperation is an insidious feeling that can often never be ignored; however, it should be controlled with the help of others. Plenty of family, friends, and companies are more than willing to help in times of desperation. Take advantage of these resources and do your best to recognize the signs of a scam. If not, you will find yourself in a much deeper hole.

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