Scam of the day – November 18, 2015 – Debt collection scams

Debt collection scams essentially come in two varieties.  One occurs when scammers use deceptive and abusive tactics to collect on debts such as credit card debt in violation of the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Often these scammers misrepresent who they are, often claiming to be sheriffs or other process servers, and falsely threaten their victims with arrest and other serious consequences.  Presently the FTC is returning millions of dollars to people who were abused by Asset Capital and Management Group, in such a debt collection scam.  Victims of this particular company can get more information about receiving a check for their losses by calling 855-312-3324.  You also can click on the tab entitled “FTC Scam Refunds” at the top of this page.  I urge everyone to check out this particular tab from time to time to see if you are eligible for refunds relating to various FTC actions.

The second debt collection scam involves scammers harassing their victims about totally non-existent debts.  They manage to sound convincing to their unfortunate victims because the scammers have previously gathered much personal information about their potential victims so that when they talk to them on the phone they sound convincing and legitimate.  Using illegal collection tactics, they threaten arrest and garnishment of wages unless the victim pays the non-existent debt immediately.  Often out of fear, their victims pay.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against 61 such scammers over the last three years, but the scam continues.  One particular phony debt collection scam shut down by the FTC operated out of call centers in India and scammed unsuspecting victims out of more than five million dollars before it was closed by the FTC.

TIPS

Debtors have considerable rights pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act including the right of the debtor who may have been first contacted by phone to request that written documentation in support of the claimed debt be sent to the debtor before any further action is taken.  In addition, debtors have the right to demand that they not be contacted by phone, after which no legitimate debt collector will contact the debtor.  To do so would violate federal law.   For more information about your rights as a debtor and what to do if you are in debt or being hounded by someone posing as a legitimate debt collector you can find much helpful information by clicking on this link from usa.gov which is an interagency website for a number of different federal agencies.   https://www.usa.gov/debt