Let's examine what some of these scams are ….
One scam is the "Government grants" scam. Ads purport to have government sources that have hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money, and show people where to get grants. Further, they say that the money is available and yours for the taking, but you must sign up to qualify.
What they actually sell you is a list of grant sources, most or all of which can be gotten for free. For example, you might get information on how a Small Business Administration loan works, and how to get one. Of course, being past due on bills and on the brink of foreclosure, the SBA does not really apply to you unless you're also in the process of establishing a small business. The operative word is "loans." The SBA helps with acquiring a loan that you must pay back, not a free grant.
Granted, most of the sources are legitimate, but they generally have nothing to do with your personal situation.
These scams are not to be confused with Matthew Lesko's books on government grants. You may know Matthew Lesko as the loud-talking, goofy-looking gentleman with question marks on his suit. He publishes a directory of government grants, and he gives you information on how to apply for them. He makes no attempt to tell you that a simple application will get you a grant. On the contrary, he makes it clear that qualification is necessary. It's a useful directory, but again, not helpful if you're trying to get out of debt.
Another scam that is tempting for the downtrodden is the "Self-liquidating loan." This one is extremely tempting. The sellers of this scam say that you can borrow mounds of money, into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, without repayment. They sweeten the pot by saying that there's no credit check, no qualifying, and bad credit is allowed. Your investment is a mere $ 7.00, up to $ 50.00, for a processing fee. Once you turn in the fee, you'll never hear back from the "lender."
Secured credit cards are not a scam by themselves. Secured credit cards are very valuable for a credit-rebuilding strategy. However, you might find ads that claim how easy it is to be approved for as many credit cards as you like. What they do not tell you is that you can get as many credit cards as you like if you have the money to deposit into a secured card bank account.
When trying to rebuild credit using secured credit cards, shop around and do not fall for these ads. Some scammers will charge an exorbitant application fee in the hundreds of dollars, in addition to the money you must deposit into their account. Some companies claim that they do not charge an application fee, but you must dial a 1-900 number in order to apply. They'll charge you for the phone call. Many will advertise an 800 number, claiming a free call. Often, these phone numbers are nothing more than recordings that direct you to 900 numbers.
If you're in a dire credit situation, you must realize that there is no quick remedy. You must negotiate with creditors, prioritize your debts, and look into a possible consolidation loan. One thing you can do that is truly free to obtain a copy of your credit reports. See what blemishes you can erase to boost your score. This will increase the number of options available to you, especially if you want to go the path of a consolidation loan. Go slow and steady, and you'll come out ahead.