AG Strange warns of fake debt collector scam

Published 11:49 am Friday, May 15, 2015

MONTGOMERY – Attorney General Luther Strange warns of a new scam in Alabama involving callers who claim to be from the Attorney General’s Office attempting to collect a debt. Someone pretending to be from the Attorney General’s Office calls the victim and threatens arrest if a bill is not paid.

This scam is very similar to others reported in Alabama this year in which callers posing as law enforcement have demanded payment for either an unpaid bill or to avoid arrest for missed jury duty. The scammer then reassures the victim the whole matter can be settled without the victim being arrested if the victim will just agree to purchase a pre-paid credit card and pay the bond over the phone. Victims have sometimes been instructed to go to a specific retail store to obtain such a card.

In the latest scam, callers are using a spoofed phone number that reads on caller ID as the Attorney General’s Office.

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Attorney General Strange cautions, “Please know that any call you may receive from the Attorney General’s Office attempting to collect money is a scam. Furthermore, debt collectors cannot arrest you. If, for any reason, law enforcement or the courts have an issue with you, you would usually be notified in writing and be ordered to contact the clerk’s office, either in person or by telephone. Impersonating a law enforcement officer and misrepresenting the judicial process to frighten and trick people out of money is a serious crime, and we hope anyone who receives such a call will report it to their local law enforcement.”