A report was released this week warning consumers of a new debt collection scam. It is called the phantom debt collection scam because the con artists are posing as debt collectors in attempt to get money from unsuspecting victims.
Who Is Calling?
It isn’t generally advised to avoid debt collection calls and ignore a debt, but consumers are being warned to tread lightly when answering calls to collectors. This new scam involves a phone call from a person pretending to be a debt collector. They are misrepresenting themselves as attorneys, law enforcement, and even government agencies. Victims have reported these phony debt collectors to be aggressive and make threats of wage garnishment or asset seizure. The majority of the victims are those who have applied for or inquired about payday loans online. The con artists have stolen this information and are using personal details about the applicants, their bank and even their identification information as “proof” of their legitimacy as a debt collector.
Hang Up The Phone
Consumer watch groups are urging everyone to be more vigilant when it comes to dealing with debt collectors. If someone makes claims you even doubt for a second, hang up and verify the debt with your lender directly. If someone makes threats or uses abusive collection tactics, hang up and report them to the Federal Trade Commission. If someone offers to settle for pennies on the dollar, hang up and call your lender or an Ohio bankruptcy attorney. Debt negotiations should be done through a professional, legal means to prevent the risk of being victimized by a scam.