Sound too good to be true? It probably is.

I realize that today’s economy is bad for a lot of things – first and foremost, having money. But the optimist in me likes to focus on how it brings out the best in people.

For instance, I see us learning to curb our spending urges, doing more with less, and opening up as we discuss our financial lives with our family, friends and neighbors—stuff we never would have talked about with anyone before.

In some of us, though, the economy unfortunately brings out a darker side. I’m talking about scam artists. They’ve always existed—for instance, hacking into online bank accounts and tricking old ladies into coughing up their retirement funds—but as more people grow desperate for money, scammers have come up with new ides.

Their latest tactic takes advantage of the new stimulus plan. I’ve seen the ads myself on Facebook. A guy says he got a $12K check from the new stimulus package and, if you sign up for his program, he’ll help you get one, too. What’s the catch? Well, the government is not actually handing out checks—and definitely not checks for $12,000.

It’s certainly not the first scam to pop up on the Internet. If you’ve been looking for a job, maybe you’ve noticed the “work from home” ads. Once you pay for their kit, the advertisements say, you can make thousands of dollars a month just by writing letters, stuffing envelopes or reading e-mails. Or how about the kits (which, again, you must purchase) that show you how to start your own blog or website so you can start raking in cash from advertisers? I’ll let you in on a little secret—if you have to pay upfront for something, chances are it’s a not legit.

It’s only natural to be lured by the idea of an easy way out but, the truth is, there’s only one way to get out of debt—and it involves work. Just like exercising and eating right is (unfortunately!) the only way to lose weight, improving your financial habits is the only way to save money.

At DebtStoppers, we won’t make you buy some miracle kit. We know we can’t snap our fingers and make your debt disappear. But we can make the process easier. As debt relief experts, we can coach you out of a debt hole, a spending rut or a foreclosure trap.

Let us schedule a free debt analysis for your family so we can evaluate your finances to create a plan tailored to your individual needs. Send away for our free Financial Toolkit, check out free articles and videos on our website or sign up for one of our free community workshops in Chicago or Atlanta to learn how to spend less, save more and avoid foreclosure. It takes no cost to get started. No tricks, no scams, no strings, just permanent debt relief solutions.

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