There’s a new twist on debt collection scams, and it’s actually a good sign!

Who Is It Targeting: Individuals who may have outstanding debt

What Is It: A phishing scam that targets people through debt collections

What Are They After: In a new twist on the old debt collection scams, callers inform you that your outstanding debt has been turned over to an agency that has filed a civil suit against you. That threat might get your attention long enough for the scammer to launch into their rehearsed routine.

This scam is actually a good sign, because many of these scams used to rely on threats of police involvement and even imprisonment. As more and more consumers have become aware that the police will not arrest you for an unpaid credit card bill, for example, scammers have had to swap up their tactics. Fortunately, this one is just as false as the arrest threats.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If anyone contacts you by phone and threatens you with some form of punishment for unpaid bills, you can rest assured it’s fake.
  • In case you’re concerned that it might be genuine, take the caller’s name, company name, and contact information, then verify the story with a call to a genuine phone number.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Better Business Bureau.