Consumers have reported more than 530,000 complaints relating to scams. The top 3 scams (Imposter scams, Debt collection, and Identity theft). The Debt collection scam is when imposters pose as a collection agency and try to strong arm consumers with threats. These scammers will go as low as telling consumers they can get jail time if they don’t pay off the bad debt in full. The imposters have all sorts of threats even telling consumers they will lose their home.
You can read the full report by visiting the Consumer Sentinel Network Databook.
These are really serious tactics that the FTC is working on daily on shutting these scams down preventing any more harm to consumers. It’s a very hard task, for the Federal Trade Commission as these imposters will just go under a new name and engineer new scams to steal from vulnerable consumers. When it comes to debt collection agencies here’s a few things you can do to check the legitimacy of the agency;
- BBB Listing – Perform a search to see if the company is listed.
- Website domain (How long ago was the web domain purchased?)
- Google Business page (How many bad reviews or do they even have a Google business page?
Consumers need to be smart and ask questions when they receive a possible fraudulent call. If it’s a legitimate company they should know your date of birth, debt that’s owed and to who, Social Security number, etc. This information is very critical in identifying the legitimacy of the call.
Did you know?
Credit card fraud was the most prevalent among identity theft reports. The FTC received more than 167,000 reports from consumers in 2017-18.
According to the Consumer Sentinel Network Databook the median loss for all fraud reports in 2018 is 375.The median individual losses were highest in these fraud categories:
- Mortgage Foreclosure Relief and Debt Management ($1,377)
- Business and Job Opportunities ($1,304)
- Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams ($1,214)
Telephone was the method of contact for 69% of fraud reports with a contact method.
If the call sounds fishy, it probably is. Just hang up and block the number though these scammers use spoof disconnected numbers that will display on your cell phone when you receive the inbound call. When you call the number back, it will say the number you are trying to reach is no longer in service.