Phantom debt scams in Florida
When people receive a call saying that they owe money to a creditor or the IRS, they may want to verify that they owe the money before making a payment. Called phantom debt scams, fraudsters will call people and state that they owe money to the government or an organization. Fraudsters will often be very aggressive and threaten legal action or damage to a person’s credit report.
According to a spokeswoman for the Council for Better Business Bureaus, this scam has been used for a very long time. However, it has become more effective in the last 20 years or so. This is because people are far more likely to go into debt, so they are more liable to think that they had simply forgotten to pay something.
If people are unsure if a debt is legitimate, they should run a credit report. Outstanding debts will normally show up, and people are able to get one free credit report each year. People should also be aware that debt collectors and the government will normally send payment requests in writing as well as or before making phone calls to a person.
Unfortunately, in all too many cases, people owe a large amount of real debt. For some individuals, getting out of debt is not possible due to the amount that they owe or income limitations. One option for eliminating debt is to file for bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows people to set up a workable repayment plan, and filing may be able to halt a foreclosure. A lawyer could explain how the process works and what the eligibility requirements are.