Bankruptcy scams are obnoxious attempts to defraud borrowers who are desperate for financial help. According to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), people who have recently filed for bankruptcy or are just starting the process are being targeted by scammers who are posing as bankruptcy attorneys over the phone. Here’s how the scam works and some information on how people can protect themselves.
The scammers are using Caller ID spoofers to make it appear like phone calls are coming from the law offices of bankruptcy attorneys. Scammers then instruct their targets to wire money for charges relating to their bankruptcy cases. Some people are given the choice to pay up or face arrest.
Bankruptcy scammers are using public filing information to sound legitimate. Many people filing for bankruptcy might be unaware some electronic court information exists on record, making the phone call sound extra serious and scary. In addition, the phone calls are occurring in the early morning and afternoon when people targeted by the scam will be unable to contact their attorneys.
How to Protect Yourself from The Fake Attorney Bankruptcy Scam
Never give out personal information over the phone, such as Social Security numbers or bank account information.
Bankruptcy attorneys have no authority to threaten arrest. We are legal representatives, not law enforcement officials. Furthermore, debtors’ prisons went out of style in the 19th century.
Bankruptcy attorneys won’t ask you to wire money. Phone calls asking for wire transfers should cause immediate alarm.
If you receive a phone call that meets this criteria, the best course of action is to immediately hang up the phone.