Receiving calls from debt collectors can be a stressful experience. Most people assume that a debt collection call is legitimate without independently verifying the identity of the collector or the validity of the alleged debt. Because more and more creditors are using third-party debt collection agencies, people need to be aware that there are scam artists out there. These individuals pretend to be debt collectors; however, their sole motivation is to take advantage of their victims. One such scam even involves callers impersonating debt collectors working on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If you need help dealing with unpaid consumer debt or are subjected to abusive and harassing practices by debt collectors, you should contact an Ohio debt lawyer who can help you figure out your legal options.
IRS Debt Collection Scam Targeting Taxpayers
The IRS has issued numerous warnings regarding a sophisticated phone scam that tells victims they owe money to the IRS and threatens them with numerous sanctions if they fail to pay, including arrest and suspension of business or driver’s licenses. These scams have the following characteristics:
- The caller often becomes hostile.
- The scammers use fake identities and IRS badge numbers.
- The scammers may have the last four digits of the victim’s social security number.
- They may be able to spoof the IRS toll-free number through caller ID and send fake IRS emails.
- After the initial IRS call, scammers may then call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV confirming any threats of jail time or suspension of driver’s license.
- Scammers will usually ask for payment through pre-loaded debit cards, wire transfers, or credit card numbers by phone.
The IRS will never ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor will they ask for payments through wire transfers or pre-paid debit cards. Additionally, the IRS will never threaten taxpayers with arrests or license revocations for failure to make immediate payments. The agency states that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request any personal or financial information.
If you are receiving calls from the IRS regarding unpaid debt or from debt collectors in general, you should take steps to protect your rights and verify the legitimacy of the collector and the debt before making any payment arrangements.
Overwhelming Debt and How Ohio Consumer Lawyers Can Help
People who are facing overwhelming debt can become easy targets for scammers looking to take advantage of an already stressful situation. If you are seeking better ways to manage your debt, there are several debt management methods that may be available, particularly when it comes to unsecured debt. These methods may include credit counseling or debt settlement efforts. To figure out which form of debt management may work best for you, you should contact the experienced consumer law attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates for assistance. Our attorneys can answer your questions regarding debt management or how to deal with debt collectors.