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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Debt-Relief Phone Scam Targets Alabama Consumers

How can you spot a debt collection scam?

Living with debt you can’t afford to make payments on is stressful. Constant phone calls can cause additional tension and anxiety that you don’t need.  It doesn’t help when disreputable people try to capitalize on your situation to try and scam you out of more money. Unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis.

Fake Attorney General Investigations Division

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has recently warned residents of new phone scams popping up in the state.  One of the most disturbing calls involves scammers using a fake caller id number and saying they are from the state Attorney General’s office.  Most calls involve the scammer trying to collect payment for an old debt or a bounced check.  Some callers are even threatening the consumer with arrest if they don’t pay.

Fake Creditor

Some scammers use identity theft to obtain consumer information about you. They typically call with seemingly legitimate information about a consumer debt and use scare tactics to try and get payment or financial information from you.

Spotting a Debt-Collection Scammer

The Attorney General will never call you to collect a debt, nor will any other government agency.  For that matter, neither will any other government agency. If you get a call from someone saying they are from a court, law enforcement agency or IRS and are trying to get money from you, it is a scam. If you owe money to a government agency, you will be notified in writing to contact them about it.

Scammers typically use harsh and abusive tactics to scare you into paying immediately.  They may threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit.  Don’t be frightened by these threats - debt-collectors cannot have you arrested. 

It is typical of legitimate debt-collectors to offer multiple payment types. Scammers on the other hand, will often seek only one form of payment, usually a credit card.

How to Avoid Being Victimized

Scam tactics can be frightening, but it’s important to keep your cool. Here are a few strategies to avoid being further victimized by these people.

  1. Avoid giving the caller any information at all.
  2. If a caller is threatening you, scaring you or otherwise being abusive, hang up.
  3. Google the phone number – if often others will be complaining about the same number.
  4. Call the creditor that they are claiming to represent directly.
  5. Contact the FTC at ftc.gov/complain or the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-392-5658.

Handling Debt

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your financing situation, there are ways to deal with your debt so that you can either get a fresh start or a more manageable payment plan.  Personal bankruptcy can be a difficult choice, but talking with an experience Alabama bankruptcy lawyer can help you better understand your options. Contact the attorneys at Padgett & Robertson today for a consultation at 251-342-0264.


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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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