Better Business Bureau Warns Consumers of Threatening Scams

May 29, 2013

Better Business Bureau Serving Southwest Missouri has received several phone calls from consumers regarding threatening debt collection tactics.

Consumers are reporting receiving phone calls from individuals informing them of a debt and threatening jail time if they didn’t pay immediately. In the instances reported to BBB, consumers were asked to purchase a GreenDot MoneyPak card to pay for the supposed debt, which could be a payday loan, or some other debt.

Your BBB has seen an increase in this and many other types of scams. This one is especially serious since they are threatening the consumers. Without a court order from a judge you are not going to spend time in jail for not paying your bills. Your credit report will suffer, but a company cannot send you to jail for not paying your debts.

As a reminder, when individuals use a pre-paid card, in most cases there are no safeguards in place to protect the consumer once the money is spent unlike a credit card or debit card. A credit card has the most protection and your debit card will have some protections in place.

“Consumers are urged to immediately contact their local police department if they receive one of these calls,” said Judy Mills, President/CEO of BBB Serving Southwest Missouri.

BBB warns that consumers should be aware these types of scams may happen via telephone, email or even text message.

If a consumer is unaware if they have any outstanding debts, they are encouraged to request a copy of their credit report. The reports from each of the credit reporting agencies are available free of charge once a year by visiting or by calling 1-877- 322-8228. Consumers may also contact the BBB office for the phone numbers to the three credit reporting agencies.

For more information on how to protect yourself from scams and frauds visit