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CFPB warns of consumer debt scams from fake bill collectors, P. 1

The new federal agency that has primary responsibility for regulating consumer protection issues in the financial industry is warning Americans that debt collection scams appear to be on the rise in the country. Followers of this blog know that creditor harassment is a large issue in Ohio, despite consumer protection laws prohibiting unfair debt collection practices.

But what could be less fair than a fake bill collector calling consumers seeking to collect on fake debts?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that holiday spending reached a five year high this season, and many consumers will be receiving calls this year seeking to recover on delinquent debts.

But alongside the potential for consumers to fall behind on actual debts, some con-artists are preying on potentially vulnerable consumers by posing as bill collectors and seeking to squeeze money from people with no authority to collect.

The CFPB says that these fake bill collectors are hard to track down. In today's technological world, scam artists can operate from just about anywhere, from a private home--to an automobile and anywhere else, including from overseas. Although federal officials say that the fake bill collectors pose under a phony name, they generally may refuse to disclose a real name or address.

Many of the fake bill collectors reportedly prey on people while they are at work. The fake bill collectors may use the con to try to elicit personal information from a consumer-opening the unwary consumer to potential identity theft.

In the next post, this blog will discuss some of the general consumer protection rules involved in the debt collection industry.

Source: Examiner, "Fake debt collection scams on the rise," William Lewis, Dec. 28, 2012

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