There is an alarming new trend in debt collection
scams. Watch out for fake collection companies that are
calling on legitimate debts. These callers have information
about debts that you owe, but have no authority to collect
them. Exactly how this information is obtained is
unknown. What you need to watch out for our bogus
companies collecting on debts you owe but have no permission
to collect. They are scammers.
The caller typically does not identify the name of the company,
they refuse to provide you with their address, their phone number
is not traceable, they have a general company name with no website
or BBB listing
and they refuse to speak to attorneys calling on behalf of
What do you mean?
Fake companies are trying to collect
legitimate debts that have been defaulted. We see
this daily for payday loans, but never for credit cards This
is new. In the last week, we have received calls
about worried consumers who are being threatened with arrest or
fraud charges unless they made a payment for their charged off
credit card, usually Credit One, immediately.
How will I know what to look for?
A collector must make meaningful disclosure of their
identity. They cannot hide who they are. If you
ask for their address, they will readily give it to you. If
the company is on the defensive and seems like they are hiding
information, they probably are not a real company. If you do
obtain an address from them, go check the address out on Google
Maps. If the address leads to a strip mall where there is a
UPS Store or another Mailbox drop store, then chances are you are
dealing with a phony company.
Can I be arrested for failing to pay a debt or charged
You can not be arrested for failing to pay a debt nor can you be
charged with fraud. The callers are trying to scare you into
paying them immediately. They don’t want to give you a moment
otherwise you will realize that they full of hot air.
What should I do to protect myself?
- Never make a payment over the phone or provide personal
information to a caller.
- Demand they send you a bill or something
in writing on their letterhead.
- If they are being difficult and overwhelming, get their company
name and address. Look up the company, check out their website, and
their listing under the Better Business Bureau. You can also
contact our office for a free
consultation. We can check them out for you – at no
- Call the original creditor and ask about your account.
They will be able to tell you if they still own it and if not, who
they sold it to or who is collecting on it.
- Pull you credit report and check to see how debt is being
reported your credit history. You can obtain your report from
each of the three credit bureaus, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax
for free every 12 months by contacting them directly or ordering
all three through annual credit report.
Accessing personal and financial information without permission
has become a real threat. Protect yourself from identity
theft by asking the right questions and contacting an
attorney for a free consultation. SmithMarco, P.C. has been
protecting consumer rights since 2005. Check out our website or call an attorney today for a free review.