How to Spot Debt Collection Scams in Arizona
If you’re facing bankruptcy and receive calls from debt collectors regularly, it can be easy to fall for debt collection scams. During financial struggles, it seems like everyone wants your money, what little money you actually have. That puts you at more risk for becoming the victim of debt collection scams. And when you fall victim to an Arizona debt collection scam, your likelihood of filing bankruptcy can increase.
Scammers prey on individuals who are already struggling financially. It makes their scams seem more legitimate and believable. And when they tell these poor victims that they’ll go after their remaining assets if they don’t pay up, the victims are more likely to open their pockets.
Debt collection scams can also turn a person who has healthy finances into a person who is struggling to make ends meet. That’s because scammers can empty a person’s life savings with their claims.
Click here to find out how online loan scams can lead to bankruptcy.
How to spot a debt collection scam
Learn the red flags to watch out for when a debt collection scammer calls you. If something feels off about the call, it generally is off. Trust your gut instincts and don’t let the scammers coerce you into doing something that doesn’t feel right. Here are some common red flags.
- The caller is withholding information. When a call feels vague, there’s probably a reason for that. If a true debt collector is calling you, they’ll clearly identify the name of the institution, the amount you owe and a reasonable timeframe for when the payment is due. If the collector is telling you that you only have five days or a week to pay off the debt and this is the first time you’ve heard about it, that’s a huge red flag. When the caller omits the institution name, cannot provide a date of when you requested the loan or any other details are missing, do not provide payment.
- Untraceable payment methods are requested. Asking that you pay off the debt via a money transfer or a prepaid card makes the payment untraceable. That ensures that the scammer gets away with your money with little to no risk of getting caught. You should have a variety of payment options when it comes to paying off a debt so untraceable payment methods should make you highly concerned.
- Threatening jail time. You would rarely face jail time for failure to pay a loan. In most cases, the punishment for failure to pay would be collecting your other assets, such as a car or home. Additionally, a real debt collector might put a lien on your property while awaiting payment. Only in very rare circumstances would jail time be a viable threat for failure to pay a debt collector.
- They threaten to expose your debts to loved ones or an employer. Personal finances are personal, and most people don’t want that information exposed to loved ones or an employer. Scammers prey upon this desire for privacy and tell you that they will expose your debt to family members or your employer if you fail to pay. It is not legal for a creditor to do that unless there is a co-signer for your loan.
Click here for an article on how to tell the difference between a legitimate debt collector and scammers.
What to do if you suspect a scammer in Arizona to avoid bankruptcy
If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of a debt collection call, ask if you can get a callback number. Do not pay the money during your first call. In cases where the caller insists that they must only call you, realize that this is not legitimate.
Alternatively, you can ask for personally identifiable information. Only real debt collectors can provide this information. Failure to do so can prove to you that something is not right here.
When you’re confident that the call you received was a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the activity.
If you’re facing bankruptcy and need an Arizona bankruptcy attorney to help you file for bankruptcy, contact us. We’ll help guide you through knowing what to pay and when to pay it to debt collectors. We can also make those debt collection calls end.