NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alerted New York homeowners to a mortgage settlement scam on Tuesday in which scam artists claim to provide assistance connected to the recent national mortgage servicing settlement.

The scammers impersonate bank or government officials and attempt to lure homeowners into providing financial or personal information. Schneiderman issued tips to protect unsuspecting New Yorkers and a new website to provide New Yorkers with additional information on the settlement.

"Homeowners and former homeowners who have been abused by their mortgage servicers deserve financial relief, but some despicable con artists are instead seeking to victimize these New Yorkers again," Schneiderman said.

"The best defense against any scam is information, and that's why we're offering these tips about mortgage settlement scams that have already surfaced. Our office will continue to be vigilant against any predators who seek to rip off New Yorkers."

Scammers may identify themselves as bank or government representatives calling about the national mortgage settlement, offering to facilitate a payment if the victim gives the caller a bank account routing number. Scammers may also offer assistance with a loan modification for a fee or ask for other personal information that can be used for identity theft.

Homeowners and those who have lost their homes to foreclosure should be wary of unsolicited calls, particularly if they ask for personal information. Offers to increase the speed of settlement assistance for a fee are fraudulent, as neither the banks, nor HUD-approved counseling agencies will charge fees for assisting with a settlement.

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