The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert that phony debt collectors are once again on the prowl intimidating debtors into giving out private financial information and wiring money.
Here's what you need to look out for:
- The phony debt collectors usually claim to be lawyers and threaten the debtor with imprisonment if they do not pay the debt. This is a sure sign that it's a scam job because you cannot be imprisoned for failure to pay debt.
- Usually the phony debt collector is calling on a debt which the debtor in fact does not owe. But sometimes it is for a legitimate debt for which the phony debt collector has no right on collect.
- The thing that is most disconcerting about this most recent breed of phony debt collectors is that they usually have an alarming amount of financial information on the victim. Credit card numbers, bank account numbers and even an address are all used to convince the victim that the call is in fact legitimate.
- Once the debtor has agreed to make payment, the phony debt collector asks them to wire the money, provide their debit card number or purchase a prepaid debit card to make the payment.
Debtors should never give out or confirm any financial information over the phone with callers claiming to be debt collectors unless they have confirmed their identity. Once a debt collector calls, ask them to send to you in writing a confirmation that they in fact have the right to collect on the debt. If they refuse to do that, end the call immediately due to their illegal debt collection practices.