fbpx

How To Tell Whether You’re Getting A Scam Spam Call

Is that caller a debt collector or a scammer? Across the U.S., more and more law-abiding citizens are getting entrapped by debt collection scams that can rob them of...

(Photo Source: techcrunch.com)

Is that caller a debt collector or a scammer?

Across the U.S., more and more law-abiding citizens are getting entrapped by debt collection scams that can rob them of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Last week, one woman in Duluth, Minnesota, was swindled out of $1,000 dollars after a scammer “spoofed” the phone number of the Duluth Police Department. The man on the phone convinced the victim, Anna Reinfield, to purchase two $500 Walmart gift cards and read him the card numbers. Thinking the call was legitimate, Reinfield did so–until the real Duluth police got involved.

“These types of payments over-the-phone become difficult to investigate since most of the time the perpetrator is outside the United States,” the Duluth Police Department said.

But authorities say there are easy ways to detect a scam.

A real debt collector is required to tell you the name of the creditor to whom you owe money, as well as the amount owed. If they do not immediately provide this information, they are required to notify you by mail within five days of the initial contact over the phone. If you dispute the charges, the debt collector is required to provide you with proof of the debt.

A real debt collector will never pressure you to pay by wire transfer, such as Western Union, or by a gift card. These methods are hard to trace and make it nearly impossible to get the money back. If the person on the phone threatens you with arrest, or claims to be a government official, such as an official from the IRS, hang up–it’s a scam. The IRS will not contact you by phone, authorities say. They will always notify you by mail of any debts you might owe.

In general, it’s best to be cautious. Ask the debt collector for written verification of the debt, as well as contact information, such as their name and callback number.

Follow @TwistityNews