An emergency alert was sent out by the Better Business Bureau to warn consumers with regards to a prevalent scam involving fake debt collectors, who were able to obtain substantial personal data of their victims.
Based on reports that BBB offices received in many states, the fraudsters accuse consumers of defaulting on a loan and tell them that they are going to be sued. Sometimes, the scammers say that they are lawyers, according to the BBB officials. The consumers are then offered an opportunity to send money or supply bank account information so that the debt collector will be able to stop the lawsuit. Usually, the victims deal with a lot of harassing messages or calls within a few hours.
Moreover, the collectors know the victims’ home addresses, Social Security numbers, employer’s information, and bank account numbers, including old ones. The fake collector asks the victim to verify other personal information that can make them susceptible to identity fraud.
Although the callers possess private information of the consumers, they are not real collectors, BBB said. They consider that this is resulting from some severe data infringement. The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation were informed about the scam.
What people should do if they receive one of these calls is not to give away any information. Either hang up the phone or ask for written debt verification. Then, right away make a fraud alert on your credit report with all the major credit agencies. When scammers have the consumers’ Social Security numbers, there is a high probability that they will become victims of identity theft. The credit bureaus automatically provide the copy of a consumer’s credit report upon issuing the fraud alert, to check whether there are items on the report that the consumer does not own.
- If you believe that you received a fake debt collection call, contact the Federal Trade Commission. A San Antonio Lawyer can also help you file a complaint if the fake debt collector harassed or threatened you.