Although an oldie, apparently still a goodie. Enjoying a boost in popularity recently, the fake bill collector scheme still fools unwitting victims.
First, you will get a phone call from a number that will not be recognizable. Sometimes, it will seem legitimate, but ultimately, not familiar. When you get the call, the person calling will let you know that they are a debt collector with so and so debt collection agency, and that this is an attempt to collect debt. At times, the phonies have been known to claim that they are working in addition to a local lawyer to get your delinquent account settled. The conman will tell you that you have accumulated a large amount of debt from a previous account. Typically, the crooks will tell you that you potentially owe them thousands, but if you are willing to settle, they will “settle: for, oh say, five hundred dollars. And could you wire the money via Western Union?
An interesting hint of ingenuity on the part of the scam artists is that a good amount of times these calls will arrive on a late Friday evening, or afternoon. When they call at these times, any government offices that you may report this to will be shut and closed for the weekend.
A number of times, the fake bill collectors will be calling from outside of the country. An example of this was a recent scam involving a call center in India. Using services in order to mask their number, call centers located outside of the country may even choose a number from an area code nearby to where you live.
If you have gotten a call from a bill collector that you feel might be a scheme, it is important to be vigilant. Ask your debt collector for a written statement of your debt. If they won’t provide you with written proof, don’t fork out any money to this suspicious agency. If you feel as though you may have been victimized by a phony bill collector scam, it is necessary to file a report with the Attorney General’s office in your state. It is important to collect as much information as you can to provide more details in your complaint.
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