The Better Business Bureau is warning Iowans about a sophisticated scam that’s cropped up elsewhere and involves phony debt collectors. The bureau’s Jim Hegarty says the amount of detail the callers appear to know about the victims is alarming. Hegarty says the perpetrators of the scam have a significant amount of personal information about the people they’re calling, including Social Security numbers and bank account information. He says the scammers accuse the victims of defaulting on a loan.
People are being called at home and told they are in default on loans or are behind on debts and are on the verge of being sued. Hegarty says the victims are then told they can resolve the situation, which is where the scam unveils itself. He says, “They tell the victims that they need to either wire them money or provide them with bank account information that will allow them to access their bank accounts to get these debts taken care of.” Hegarty says the con artists use fear tactics to get their point across, including abusive language.
He says, “They use very intimidating tactics and with the personal information that they appear to have, they lend credibility that they are indeed legitimate debt collectors.” Hegarty says Iowans should never provide personal information or send money to someone like this.
Demand the debt collector send verification through the mail. He says these scammers used fairly sophisticated methods to get phone numbers and other personal information about their victims. To reach the state’s chapter of the Better Business Bureau, visit: “iowa.bbb.org“.