Beware! Some debt collectors are NOT who they claim to be. Every week we are inundated with phone calls about debt collectors that call people at work or at home and threaten to have people arrested, or claim to be law enforcment themselves, in regard to a “bad check” that requires immediate payment by credit card,etc. etc. A significant number of them are associated with online payday loans that consumers often take out and, for whatever reason, simply fail to repay. While some of these call may be legitimate, many are simply the result of the online web site forwarding all of the consumers information to dozens of other entities to “fund” the loan, which include many hackers simply “phishing” for your personal information for ID theft. This leads to many of these fraudulent calls demanding immediate payment under threat of arrest, because they know most people seeking online payday loans are desperate and will give up some money rather than be arrested, etc.
To protect yourself: NEVER give our your credit card information or pay over the phone to people you cannot verify are legitimate. Use GOOGLE or other online resources to “look up” the phone number or company calling you to see if they have an established reputation for scamming. Contact the original creditor and see if they have sent the account to collections and if so, to whom. If they are a REAL company doing bad things to collect a real debt….contact us immediately so we can help. If they are a phantom company or a clear scam, unfortunately, there is little any lawyer can do. You should report such activity to the Florida Attorney General and make sure you familiy or employer is aware that its a scam and not to interact with them at all.