Debt collection scams are one of the most frightening and persistent scam types. Scammers harass you for weeks or even months, both at home and at work, trying to get you to pay a debt you don’t even owe. Scammers will often know personal information about you and your family members, and have been known to threaten relatives into paying up.
How the Scam Works:
The scammer calls and tells you that they work for a loan company, law firm or government agency, and claims to be collecting an overdue payment. When you reply that you don’t owe money, the “debt collector” starts to make threats of suing you, having your wages garnished, arresting you, or forcing you to appear in court thousands of miles from home.
Despite the threats, these "debt collectors" don't have any legal power. In most cases, the alleged overdue loan doesn't even exist. Don't give in and pay money you don't owe. If you do, the scammer will likely be back for more.
Tips to Spot This Scam:
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.
To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams”.
Last Reviewed: March 7, 2017