Debts: Watch Out For Calls From Scammers Threatening Pay Or Go To Jail

16 Jun Debts: Watch Out For Calls From Scammers Threatening Pay Or Go To Jail

You do not go to jail for failure to pay an ordinary debt, but creditors sometimes like to threaten you with jail in order to get you to make a payment and scammers like to scare you out of your money too. Don’t get scared by lies and tricks by collectors or false collectors.

If you get a call like this, check with a lawyer before you react. Sometimes, these callers do a favor if they call people who have a lot of debts they can’t pay. I often hear from people when they get scared about going to jail, and when I am able to explain how bankruptcyworks, they decide that filing for bankruptcyand discharging all their debts is a good idea. Especially once they learn that all collection calls are stopped upon bankruptcy filing, avoiding filing bankruptcymight not seem like such a good idea.

Apparently scammers are making the rounds again with calls trying totrick people into giving up information. The information may be close enough to your real information and contain a name for a debt you owe, but the information may also be completely false!

Even if you owe money, it is illegal for creditors and collectors to threaten to arrest you for failure to pay an ordinary debt. If they sue you, they have to follow proper steps.

Mycolleague, Oregon bankruptcy attorneyKaren Oakes also wrote about threats about jail, and gave some good tips in how to deal with them in her article Beware Phony Debt Collectors.

See the following alert from NC Attorney General Roy Cooper. It is good advice, no matter what state you live in.

Watch out for calls from “Federal State Bureau of NC”

Consumers have recently reported getting calls from the “Federal State Bureau of North Carolina,” telling them they owe a debt and must pay it or face jail time. This is not a real law enforcement organization, and these are not legitimate calls from debt collectors. The threatening calls come from (336) 505-7092, a Google Voice number that could be used by scammers anywhere in the world.

If you get a similar call:

  • Don’t give out your personal information, particularly your bank account and credit card information.
  • Check your credit reports for free at or 1-877-322-8228 to spot any unauthorized credit cards or loans taken out in your name.
  • Consider a free security freeze to block unauthorized use of your credit.
  • Remember that legitimate debt collectors will provide you with written proof of a debt. They are not allowed to use profanity or threaten you with violence or arrest, and they must follow rules about when and how they contact you.

You can report debt collection scams to our office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a consumer complaint online.

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.


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Concentrating in Consumer Bankruptcy Law since 1988; Wake Forest Law School JD 1987 Law Office of Susanne M. Robicsek since 1993, Law Clerk to Judge Rufus Reynolds, US Bankruptcy Judge for Middle District of NC; Burns Price & Arneke, PA, David Badger and Associates, PA.

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