02 Nov Collectors Calling About Fake Debt a Growing Problem
If consumers did not have enough to worry about having to deal with rising credit card interest rates, late fees and over-limit fees, zombie debt, and overzealous bill collectors, now we have to worry about collectors calling about fake debt.
ABC News recently reported about scammers masquerading as debt collectors and calling consumers in an effort to collect debt that is not real. The scammers call people and threaten them with arrest if they do not immediately wire money to a designated bank. In fact, the victimized consumers do not owe any debt and the collection efforts are basically an attempt to steal money.
Fake debt scammers rely on the fear and lack of knowledge about debt collection laws within the population. They also figure that a certain percentage of their calls will be received by individuals who may be carrying debt on credit cards anyway and may be susceptible to intimidation. You can read more about fake debt and collection abuses at my friend Jay Fleischman’s New York Consumer Litigation blog in a post entitled “Are You Dealing With Fake Debt Collectors?”
If you ever receive a call from anyone identifying himself as a debt collector, the law requires that the debt collector provide you with identification, and that the debt collector refrain from making misleading statements. There is no debtor’s prison in the United States so any credit card collector who threatens you with jail is breaking the law.
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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