Scam calls and emails are at an all-time high with scammers frequently finding new methods to target their victims. More recently, a scam involving fraudulent debt collection calls has surfaced where the caller poses as a representative of a collection agency working on behalf of the U.S. government. As the call continues, the fake government representative uses several scare tactics to make their victim believe they owe bad debt and will be heavily penalized for refusal to pay.

These cyber-crooks will go as far as telling you if you don’t contact them today, they will take legal action and contact the FBI and Homeland Security. First off, it’s against the law to leave a voice message about a bad debt without having prior consent from the debtor. The FBI and Homeland Security have nothing to do with a person’s bad debt.

If you receive a call or email describing the above, don’t call the number back. You should report the phone number and company name to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting https://www.ftc.gov/ and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint”

Everyone should also be extra careful this time of year for other engineered scams such as;

  • Fake gift cards
  • Sales from brands you never heard of
  • Fake debt relief promises
  • Charity fraud
  • Money back from MoneyGram
  • Fake calls from a bank stating someone was using your debit or credit card
  • Student loan phone scam (promising you free grants)
  • Fake auto warranty robo-calls
  • Fake healthcare enrollment robo-calls
  • Facebook scams
    • “See Who’s Viewed Your Profile” Scam
    • “See Who’s Blocked You” Scam
    • “Your Facebook Account Has Been Canceled” Scam

See the entire Facebook scam list here.

Being on guard will keep you out of harms way from these scammers. If you don’t recognize a phone number or an email, it’s best to just ignore and block the phone number. If you receive an email from an unknown recipient, mark the email as spam.

Keep up to date with the latest news for the latest scams that are known. You must always be your best detective even when you are filling up with gas. Always hide the keypad when entering your pin number. This also so goes for any place you shop.

You should also use strong passwords by using at least 8 characters with one number, one capital letter and a special character (#!@&%). I recommend you change your password once every 3 to 6 months. You should never use the same password across different web sites including your online banking. Sometimes, I need to take my own advice.

Check out Strong Arm Debt Collections. This is another bad example of an agency that uses unethical practices.

Happy Holidays and stay Safe!