Con-Artists Claiming to be Debt Collectors
With a struggling economy, more scammers are trying to take advantage of people who are unable to make payments on their bills. Recent news reports alert consumers about scammers calling and claiming to be debt collectors in order to get personal details and even money from unsuspecting consumers.
Scammers claim to be debt collectors but they are thieves trying to make people pay upfront for debt they don't owe. The scam is much like what an unethical debt collection agency may practice. Scammers make false claims, threats and tell people they will be arrested if a payment isn't made immediately. Recently, a wave of this activity has been reported across Southwest Florida but it's likely other states may also be seeing such activity.
Scammers also claim to be from common companies such as Visa and tell unsuspecting consumers they are behind on payments or make claims they owe several hundred dollars or more on the account. The thieves hope you won't question their whereabouts and hope you pay up right over the phone. They have been known to pressure people with threats of being sued or getting arrested in order to collect a fast payment.
If you receive a similar call, it is important to know not to give any personal information. If they claim to be from a legitimate collection agency, do research regarding their claim before making any payments. Ask them to verify debt in question. While it is true a debt collector may file a lawsuit to collect payment, it is illegal to make threats toward such action or claim someone will be arrested which is not true.
The FTC shares additional information regarding fair debt collection practices and debt collection abuse . Contact your creditor or legal representative with questions or concerns.