You may soon be the victim of a bill collector scam. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, get ready.
The crooks call thousands of people every day. They will demand that you pay money to settle some old debt. But it’s a hoax. There was no such debt. They are making the whole thing up to steal your money.
The scammers are criminals. They use a telephone to stick you up instead of using a gun.
The bill collector scam involves calling people off of old, outdated collection lists. Most of the people they call have had some very old, unpaid debts. That is why it seems so believable. They count on you jumping to the conclusion that the debt they are calling about must be one of those that you forgot about so long ago.
But the debt they are trying to make you pay never existed.
They say you are in trouble because you committed “bank fraud” by failing to pay a debt. Sometimes they say they are working with the “FBI” or the “IRS.” They typically say they will send a sheriff over to your home tomorrow if they don’t get an immediate payment. The bill collector scam works by first scaring you, and then by a not give you time to think. They do not want you to check your records. The caller will demand immediate payment while they have you on the phone. And before you have a clear head.
Every state has a law called a statute of limitations. Such laws set a time limit for anyone to file a lawsuit. California’s statute of limitations is 4 years for credit card debts and most loans. The time limit is counted from when a debt became overdue. Or from when a borrower last made a payment. If it’s been more than 4 years, a debt collector cannot sue a debtor for debt collection purposes in California.
Here’s what you should do when you get a shady collection call.
First, do not give in to any demand for immediate payment. Tell the caller you will first check things out. You should demand that the caller validate the debt. A legitimate bill collector will have no problem complying with such a request.Validation involves showing you written proof that they are legally entitled to collect on it. And proof that you owe it.
Next, tell them you will then take their paperwork to an attorney to check it out. If this really is a bill collector scam, you probably won’t ever hear from them again. That’s because they see that you can not be tricked.
It is useless trying to argue with them or talk them out of it. They already know that you don’t owe it.
Their goal to steal money from you by use of fraud. They do not care what you say. You can not reason with them. The scammers are going keep after you if they think you might agree to pay them something.
If you try to reason with them they will demand that YOU verify your identity for THEM. They will ask for your address, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates, etc). Tell them NOTHING or they will use what you tell them to perpetrate an ID theft. Do NOT give them any of your personal info.
There are other ways to know that the caller is using the bill collector scam on you. Have they ever written to you? Probably not.
Who is perpetrating the bill collector scam?
These fraudulent scams always seem to come up in a phone call, never a letter. That’s because they do not want you to have time to think logically. And they are afraid to put their fraudulent representations in writing. Also, they do not want to be traced to a physical address out of fear they will be arrested – because they are CRIMINALS.
Many of the scammers are actually located in a third world country. Often West Africa or Eastern Europe. Some of them are ex cons working in boiler rooms located here. They frequently use disguised and forwarded phone numbers. That makes it look like they are located locally.
The reason they are so aggressive is because they have to be – or else nobody would be scared enough to pay them. Remember, this is a stick up!
And, they kind of did get you believing them for a few minutes, didn’t they?
Need legal advice about handling scammers or legitimate debt collectors? You can call and talk to a lawyer for free at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta. We are debt relief experts. Call (800)-477-3111.