This blog is my latest in my efforts to notify you about potential scams. Although this scam has been around for several years, it is still worth noting. The scam is directed at people who have already filed for bankruptcy. Basically, the scammer will call you posing as a bankruptcy lawyer – as fake bankruptcy attorneys. Further, the scammer will tell you that you need to wire money to settle a debt. They will even try to make you believe that failure to do so will result in your arrest!!!!!
How does it work?
The scammer uses technology to fool your phone. As such, your caller ID will make it appear that the call is coming from your attorney. For example, you may get a call from Lucid Law at (908) 332-5623. The caller will tell you that he is a representative from the law firm. Next, he will tell you that you have a debt that falls outside of your bankruptcy case that needs to be repaid immediately. To satisfy the debt, you will have to immediately wire money. If you push back and refuse to wire the money, the scammer may threaten you by saying that the debt collector has a warrant for your arrest.
How do they find you?
As I mentioned in previous blogs, it really is hard to find a person who has filed for bankruptcy. However, if somebody is motivated enough, they can find information about you. Once you file for bankruptcy, it becomes a public record. To my chagrin, I cannot deny the motivation of these scammers. They do their homework by identifying you and your attorney from these public bankruptcy filings. They look legit when your lawyer’s caller ID shoes up on your phone. To make matters worse, they usually call after business hours making difficult for you to verify with your attorney. For my clients, you can email my office at any time to get information.
What should you do?
First, now that you are aware – simply hang up on them. Trust me, your legitimate bankruptcy lawyer would never tell you to wire money to a creditor to settle a debt; they might ask if you are interested in discussing a settlement with a creditor and after negotiations recommend a settlement. But they would never tell you “wire money to settle this debt now!” And, every bankruptcy lawyer knows you cannot be arrested for a simple collections matter!!! They would never tell you that!!!
Second, call your lawyer to tell them about the scam.
Remember, your attorney would never ask you to immediately wire money. Nor would your attorney tell you that you will be arrested for failing to pay a debt. In fact, if anyone threatens you with an arrest for not paying a debt, it is most likely a scam.
Don’t fall for scams by fake bankruptcy attorneys or fake debt collectors! Please call me if you have any questions about this blog or other bankruptcy law concern.