If a company requires you to pay an advance fee before they perform a service, like selling your timeshare or helping you avoid foreclosure, chances are you're dealing with a scam.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is warning consumers in his state to beware of a company called RMI Associates, that he says is contacting consumers with an advance fee scheme.

According to Suthers, the company offered to help consumers recover their restitution associated with the Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission’s recent lawsuit against the Dalbey Education Institute, a company suspected of using infomercials to deceive consumers into believing they could break into the promissory note business and get rich.

No affiliation

RMI Associates is in no way affiliated with the Office of the Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission, Suthers said. Consumers who think they have restitution coming to them can visit the Office of the Attorney General’s Web site and file a complaint for free via www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/complaint.

“Consumers should not contract with or pay any fees to private companies in order to get their complaint submitted to state or federal authorities,” Suthers said.

Reloading

In the scam world, contacting the victims of a scam, offering to help them get their money back, is called “reloading,” and is not uncommon. And of course, the hallmark of all scams is the requirement of an advance fee.

Last year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) toughened its rules in one area of advance fees. It now prohibits debt settlement and credit repair companies from collecting a fee before achieving any results for a consumer.  


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