Another Scam you Should be on the Lookout For!
Another day, another scam. I talked about the text version of this one a while back. (Click here for all the details.)
A company calls you, with an automatic message and a robotic sounding voice that says your name, informing you that they have a claim filed against you and that they have exhausted all resources attempting to send you documentation.
They then put out a sense of urgency that YOU MUST CALL BY 5 pm, or press 1, or you will be either served by a process server or arrested.
I decided to have some fun and call them back from a Google Voice number, as not to give anyone else access to my number. (I wish I would have recorded this!)
A guy answers and says this is John Smith. Could you use a better fake name “Mr. Smith?”
He asked me to verify my social, date of birth and address. I don’t think so. I told him that if he had a valid claim then we would already have all of that information.
That is when he began to get irate with me and told me that was ok, he would send the sheriff out to get me. I asked him what government agency he worked for.
He told me he did not.
I informed him that he had no legal standing to have the “sheriff” come out to see me and then I asked him for the company name of who he worked for and an address.
He wouldn’t tell me anything but tried to make up an address in Georgia, that did not exist, with a California zip code.
Then he informed me he just sent a message to the Harris County (Houston) sheriff’s office to have me arrested and then wished me luck. (Umm really? I don’t need luck, you do scumbag!)
I informed him that was over 400 miles away and I would be more than glad to be waiting for them at the front door at 5 pm.
He hung up.
What is sad is how many people will fall for this scam.
Things to Remember:
- No private, non-government agency can have a warrant issued for your arrest. PERIOD! Debtors prisons were eliminated in the 1800’s.
- No company with a legitimate lawsuit is going to tell you that someone is coming to serve you papers. That would eliminate the element of surprise.
- Same thing with legitimate law enforcement actions, they are not going to warn you first, they just show up.
- If it smells like a goat, acts like a goat, and looks like a goat, then chances are it is a goat.
Best bet is to not answer any phone calls from numbers you do not recognize. Take that number and run it through 800notes.com. It is one of the largest databases of scam phone numbers. They will have a section written by users that will tell you what kind of call it was. And the best part is that it is free!
For more information on phone scams and how to spot and avoid them check out the FTC’s website on this topic by clicking here.