Telephone scam targets bankruptcy filers

Friday, December 18, 2015

 

Consumer Action is warning consumers about a new scam targeting bankruptcy filers. (Bankruptcy filings are public records in most areas, which allows scammers to obtain this information.) The scam artist impersonates a bankruptcy attorney on the telephone through caller ID "spoofing". (The consumer’s caller ID displays the number of an attorney, but the call actually originates from somewhere else.) Using information obtained from public bankruptcy filing records, the scam artist threatens the consumer with arrest if the consumer does not immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.

Consumers should hang up immediately when receiving such calls and should never provide financial information or account numbers to unsolicited callers. Funds sent via wire transfer or through a prepaid card are hard to track—or get back—once the scammers get the routing or account numbers. Such funds usually are not recoverable by law enforcement or banking officials.

Consumers who believe they are victims of this scam should contact a bankruptcy attorney, their local police department and their state attorney general.

Consumer Action offers many free multilingual publications on how to protect yourself from frauds and scams. From our home page, follow Consumer Action's Alerts, Headline News and join our email list to get our monthly SCAM GRAM e-newsletter and other informative mailings.

Consumer Action empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers nationwide to financially prosper through education and advocacy.

 

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