Debt collection scams are popping up all over the United States, with the target being individuals and families. It is not uncommon for homes to receive calls from individuals who claim they are from the IRS or a debt collection agency. They say that you owe money in back-taxes, or that you need to pay off your debts immediately in order to avoid collection and other possible penalties.
Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference between a scammer and the real agency, because a lot of these callers have information that makes them seem authentic. For example, they may have gotten their hands on your social security number and address, which makes it easy to believe they are the real deal.
One of the first ways to detect a scam is when they ask for your money immediately. No matter how much money you owe in back-taxes or to a debt collection agency.A lot of elderly couples have reported that they receive phone calls that are extremely harassing and threatening. The callers often indicate the couple could end up on the street and facing “dark times” if they do not comply.
Another way to spot a scam is if you have not received any written notification. If a debt collection agency knows your home phone number, they also know your address. If you really owed debt, they send you a written notice multiple times outlining what you owe and what your options are. If you still do not respond, they will start calling. Phone calls that come prior to any written notice are probably scams.
Scams also involve asking people to go to a local Walmart or chain store where they can deposit money through Western Union, Moneygram or other money sending services. If you are ever asked to do this, there is a 100 percent certainty you are being scammed. A collection agency would give you a written request of how to send in your payment, not ask you to quickly go to Walmart and wire money to an unknown person’s bank account.