How to Avoid Losing Your Money to a Scam Artist


In today’s technology-driven world, online bill-paying has become increasingly common. You can even pay many of your bills over the phone if time is of the essence. The convenience this offers, along with the paper saved when avoiding manual bill pay, has made making remote payments feel natural for many people.

Our high comfort level with making online and over-the-phone bill payments brings with it some potential (and quite serious) problems. The first of which, naturally, is the possibility of identity theft, especially when paying online while using a non-secure website. For more information about shopping safely online, read this.

Another time to be wary is when you are contacted on the phone by someone who claims you are indebted to them. Sometimes, scammers using this approach will have done some research ahead of time so that they are familiar with places you shop, visit, or receive services or medical care.

Even if you recognize the name of the business that is being used, be sure to ask them to provide you with a written invoice through regular mail before paying. If you have no recollection of owing any money to the business mentioned, and the caller refuses to send you a written invoice, hang up the phone.

Any legitimate business/lender/creditor will be able and willing to send you a written invoice for money you  actually owe.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, simply pay money to a “company” to get them to stop bothering you. If you don’t remember owing the money in question, chances are good that you actually don’t owe it! If you request a written invoice for the bill or loan in question and continue to be harassed for the money without receiving an invoice, it’s time to talk to an attorney, because often their behavior is illegal and can be stopped.

The bottom line is – if you don’t know where a supposed debt is from, and the “collector” can’t or won’t divulge what they money owed was for, you’re being scammed.

If you’ve experienced something like this situation recently, and you mistakenly paid money out – it’s also important to put some important practices into place that will A) Keep this from happening in the future, and B) Protect your accounts that you may have opened up to foul play. By consulting with a licensed attorney who specializes in debt resolution, you’ll be able to arm yourself with the best information available.

In addition, it’s possible that some or all of the money that you paid out to a fraudulent collector can be recovered, and hopefully that particular scam artist will be stopped in his current path of deception – saving others from being taken advantage of in the future.

To learn more about how we can help you, call Veitengruber Law now. You can also gain useful information by reading a number of our blog posts about identity theft and fraud. We look forward to your free consultation with us if you should choose to make an appointment!


Image credit: Tim Parkinson

One Response to How to Avoid Losing Your Money to a Scam Artist

  1. Pingback: My SS Number was Compromised; What are my Options? | Veitengruber Law

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