State warns of local debit card scam
Published 9:35 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is warning local residents to be on the lookout for a scam targeting those who have filed for bankruptcy.
Through the scam, callers use caller ID “spoofing” and victims’ personal information to collect false debts from the victim of the scam. After obtaining publicly available documents regarding bankruptcy filers, scam callers use the information to pose as attorneys and demand immediate wire payment of a debt, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
While “spoofing” a number when calling, the scammers appear to be calling from a bankruptcy attorney’s office, “often times phoning after business hours to make it difficult to verify they are not legitimate,” according to Strange.
The callers claim the victim will be arrested if they do not immediately wire the debt payment to them.
Strange said all such calls are fraudulent, and said anyone receiving them should report them immediately to law enforcement.
“Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or a staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer to immediately satisfy a debt,” read a statement from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. “Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”
Strange said debt collectors have no arrest powers, and said callers should be suspicious of any call demanding immediate payment and threatening arrest.
“Frequently debt collection scams also claim to be calling on behalf of the IRS, law enforcement, the courts and even the Attorney General’s Office demanding immediate payments,” Strange wrote in a statement. “Consumers should never give out personal information over the telephone and should verify the identity of any caller seeking payments.”
For more information on protecting yourself from consumer fraud, visit the Attorney General Office’s website at Ago.state.al.us/Page-Consumer-Protection, or call 1-800-392-5658.