TULSA, Okla. —Tulsa’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) says consumers should be on the lookout for scammers posing as loan companies.
The BBB says the scams work by scammers calling loan companies or government agencies, claiming to collect payment for overdue bills.
Scammers will use scare tactics like threatening legal action, garnishing wages, asking for an arrest warrant, or arranging a court appearance thousands of miles away from home.
The BBB says the first thing to do is stay calm.
Despite these threats, these “debt collectors” have no legal power, and in most cases the so-called delinquent loan does not exist.
The BBB says don’t give in and pay the money you don’t owe or the scammers will call back for more.
How to spot this scam
- The BBB says that to spot a scammer, first ask the debt collector to provide an official “validation notice” of the debt. In the United States and most parts of Canada, debt collectors are required by law to provide this information in writing. The notice must include the amount of debt owed, the name of the creditor and a statement of your rights. If the tax collector does not provide the information, hang up the phone.
- Ask for proof of debt and appeal from the agency. If you owe money and aren’t sure if the caller is real, ask for their name, company, address, and phone number. Do not provide any bank account, credit card or other personal information over the phone. If the collector is legitimate, they should have details of the accounts in question.
How to protect yourself
- The BBB says if you don’t have any outstanding loans, just hang up the phone. Do not press any number and do not speak to an “agent”.
- Check your credit report. Check with one of the three national credit reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. This will help determine if there are any outstanding debts or suspicious activity.
- If the scammer has personal information, place a fraud alert with all three national credit reporting companies.
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