Credit and debt collection scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s hard to tell the difference between legitimate debt collection efforts and scammers waiting to take your money. The Federal Trade Commission offers these signs of a scam:
- The caller claims to be with a government agency or law enforcement. Law enforcement never gets involved in private debt collection and the circumstances under which they might be involved after a judgment has been entered are rare. Don’t make payment arrangements to anyone over the phone, even if they claim to be with an agency or law enforcement.
- Scammers want you to act immediately, before you have time to figure out who they really are. Don’t agree to anything on the spur of the moment. If the caller insists you act now it’s a pretty good sign they’re not legitimate. Take the time you need to find out if you should do anything. Talk with a lawyer about whether you have some defenses to the debt collection.
- The caller wants you to wire money. Insist on getting a physical address, not just a post office box, where you can send a check once you determine the person or company calling is legitimate.
- Find out whether the company is registered to do business in Iowa before agreeing to do what they want.
If you’re faced with someone calling trying to collect a debt and their behavior makes you nervous, contact us first before agreeing to do what they want.