Consumers should be on alert for scam artists posing as debt collectors, says Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
"This is a new twist on an old scam," says Caldwell. He says his office is receiving reports where scammers are trying to collect on loans that don't exist. The scammers send out frightening letters and make threatening phone calls to try and convince people to send them money.
Caldwell says that consumers should be suspicious about anyone who asks you to wire money or load a prepaid card with money in order to pay a debt.
A caller may be a fake debt collector if they demand payment on a loan you don't recognize, they refuse to give a mailing address or phone number, if they seek your personal information, or if they use tactics to scare you into paying, like threatening to report you to police.
Attorney General Caldwell advises that if you suspect that a fake debt collector is calling you, do not discuss any debt until you get a written "Validation Notice," and to never give out personal information over the phone.
Suspicious collectors should be reported to the AG's Consumer Protection Division at (800) 381-4889.