A colleague of mine recently sent me a copy of an article published by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. The article piqued my interest because although my law practice is focused primarily on taxpayer defense, I do file a fair number of consumer bankruptcies on behalf of my clients.
The con-men and con-women running this latest bankruptcy scam use software that fools the bankruptcy debtor’s caller ID so it appears that the call is coming from the debtor’s own attorney. The scammers can easily obtain the name and phone number of the debtor’s attorney from the bankruptcy court’s public records. The scammer, posing as the attorney, then calls the bankruptcy debtor and tells the debtor that he/she must immediately wire money to pay a debt that wasn’t included in the bankruptcy. Some scammers have even threatened criminal action if the debtor doesn’t immediately send the money. The scammers usually call during non-business hours so that the debtor can’t get in touch with his/her attorney to verify whether the call is genuine.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy, or if you are currently in bankruptcy, please be aware that your bankruptcy attorney would never call and ask you to wire funds to pay a bankruptcy debt. If you are in bankruptcy and you receive a scam call like this, just politely tell the caller that he/she will have to wait until the next business day. Then call your bankruptcy attorney.
It is unfortunate that scammers, like hyenas and jackals, tend to pray on the poor, the sick and the elderly, but scammers don’t usually use deadly force to steal your money. Instead, they play on your fear in an attempt to fool you into panicking and making an irrational and costly decision. My advice is simple—DON’T PANIC—if you don’t panic, you won’t likely get scammed.