Debt Collection Scams: Who Is Calling You?
I’ve written before about the fast-growing scam of the last few years: A debt collector calls you and tells you that you need to make a payment RIGHT NOW or else you will get arrested, or sued, or have your paycheck taken. Many times these scammers have illegally obtained your credit report and are pretending that they are calling on behalf of real creditors. However, they have a new way to skip that step. They pretend that they are calling on behalf of the IRS. After all, we all have to interact with those guys.
Lots of people have fun with these criminals:
However, this is truly a dangerous scam. The IRS has reported $50,000,000 in payments made to these scammers, and, as the IRS observed, that’s only what has been reported.
Vox has an excellent article detailing the workings of these predators. Check out the diagram below detailing the workings of the crime.
So, how do you avoid becoming a victim?
Demand written communications. If someone tells you that they will not communicate in writing, then you know that they are not from a reputable organization. If a debt collector calls you, tell them that they must send you a letter before you will do anything.
Resist the call to act. The scammers know that their time is short. They want you to give them money right then. Never give in to anyone who says that you must pay today.
Get off the phone. These people make their living manipulating people. They know how to push and prod to get a reaction. Get off the phone and don’t give them the chance to manipulate you.