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  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 13, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collection agency, debt collectors, , , medical bills, ,   

    Beware phony medical bills 

    By Greg Collier

    The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning stating people have been receiving phony medical bills in the mail. Scammers are hoping that recipients of the phony bills will be so panicked about it, they’ll make an immediate payment to the scammers. When someone demands an immediate payment in full for a medical bill, that may be a tip off that the bill is part of a scam.

    Whether it’s a medical practice or a medical collection agency, most facilities will be willing to work with you on paying the balance. The first thing you would want to do is research the charge itself. If you didn’t have a doctor or hospital visit on or around the date of service, the bill may be fraudulent. If you did have a visit around that time, contact the medical facility used and ask if this was a service they performed or requested.

    You can also check with your health insurance company to see if any bill from the questionable practice was submitted to them. This also a good reason to keep the explanation of benefits (EOBs) that your insurance company sends you after a claim is completed.

    Legitimate medical practices, facilities, and collection agencies will be more than willing to help set up some kind of payment plan if someone is unable to pay the full balance of their bill. Some practices will even offer a significant discount if you can pay the balance in one payment if it’s a substantial balance.

    If you’re unsure whether the bill is legitimate or not, ask the biller for a debt verification letter. If they refuse to provide this, they could be scammers, as only legitimate facilities will be able to provide this.

    Never give any financial or personal information to anyone claiming you have a medical bill balance without first verifying the charges. This includes your health insurance information. While most of these scammers are looking for a quick payday, others may be looking to commit insurance fraud with your insurance information.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: debt collectors, ,   

    BBB warns of medical debt scam 

    BBB warns of medical debt scam

    By Greg Collier

    Medical debt is one of the leading causes of people who declare bankruptcy in the U.S. The cost of medical care in the US is notably high compared to other countries. Even with insurance coverage, individuals may face substantial out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. For those without adequate insurance coverage, the burden of medical costs can be overwhelming.

    This has led many medical facilities to employ collection agencies to go after outstanding debts. These debt collectors are often more than aggressive when pursuing these debts. They’re not above resorting to legal action, wage garnishment, or asset seizure. However, not every medical debt is legitimate, as the Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers are posing as medical debt collectors in order to extort money from their victims.

    It makes sense, in a way, that scammers would do this. Scammers often employ high-pressure tactics to trick their victims into giving up their money. Posing as a debt collector, who also uses high-pressure tactics, allows scammers to appear more authentic to their victims.

    According to the BBB, scammers are sending letters and making phone calls to their victims, claiming the victim owes money for a medical bill. The scammers threaten their victims with legal fees, ruining your credit, and even arrest. The scammers are hoping that the victim will be scared into handing over their financial information.

    There are some easy ways to protect yourself from this scam. The first is to never give these callers any money right away. First, ask them for a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. Debt collectors are required to provide those, while most scammers can’t. Then call the medical office where the bill supposedly originated from, and their billing office will be able to verify any charges or debts.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , debt collectors, , , law firm, ,   

    Scam Round Up: Phony Law Firm Scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: Phony Law Firm Scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    This week, in the Scam Round Up, we’ll be reminding our readers of an old scam, a new twist on a familiar scam, and a new and potentially terrifying scam.


    Lots of scams are designed to swindle people who are looking to make a supplemental income. One of those scams is the car wrap scam. This is where scammers promise to pay you for putting advertising decals on your car and just driving around town. While there are legitimate opportunities to do this, they aren’t as frequent as the scammers would have you believe. They’ll also go to great lengths to try to convince you that they’re the legitimate offer.

    For example, an Arkansas man received what appeared to be a legitimate car wrap offer in the mail. The offer appeared professional in nature, but the closer the man looked, the more he realized it was a scam.

    The offer included a check for $3700. $100 of it was for gas, $600 was supposed to be the man’s payment, and the remaining $3000 was supposed to go to the company that would wrap his car. Except, he was supposed to deposit the check and then pay the company through Venmo or Cash App.

    Thankfully, the man waited before sending any of the money. He waited for his bank to let him know whether the check was legitimate or not, and it turned out to be fraudulent. Just by waiting, he saved himself from being thousands of dollars in debt to his bank.


    Speaking of fake check scams, one seems to be hitting the real estate market hard. Scammers are sending fraudulent cashier’s checks to realtors and title companies, posing as someone who is interested in buying a house. Once the check is deposited, the scammers claim they’ve changed their mind about the home and want their money back. Now, most knowledgeable realtors won’t move forward with any transaction until the check clears.

    While most realtors wouldn’t fall for this scam, it’s still tying up properties while realtors wait to see if the check is real. Taking a property off the market and putting it back on can not only hurt the home’s value, but it also keeps it out of the hands of people needing to find a home.


    Lastly, we have a story about a man who received a cal from a law firm trying to collect a debt. The law firm said that he had defaulted on a loan from 2016. The caller said they needed to send someone to his home to receive his signature. The scammers even knew a lot of information about their target, including his Social Security number, and the names of his family members.

    They said he owed $9000 but would be willing to take an immediate payment of $4000. The man was taken aback at first, but once he gathered his composure, he realized this was a scam. After the man hung up on the scammers, the scammers called the man’s adult son to try to intimidate the man further.

    If you receive a call from someone trying to collect a debt, ask them to mail you a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. If they know way too much information about you than they should, consider putting fraud alerts on all your financial accounts.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on December 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , debt collectors, ,   

    New debt collection rules could lead to scams 

    New debt collection rules could lead to scams

    By Greg Collier

    If you’ve ever had to deal with a debt collector, whether rightly or wrongly, you know just how persistent they can be. Even some legitimate debt collection agencies have used some pretty underhanded tactics to try to collect on a debt that can border on harassment. Some agencies will try to pressure someone into making a payment right then and there over the phone, without telling the person where the debt came from. The collection agency might not have this information, since they may have bought the debt from someone else. They might also try to threaten you with arrest or wage garnishment. Both of these tactics are illegal, but that hasn’t stopped some collection agencies. Now, there is one less place where you can avoid debt collectors.

    Debt collectors are now allowed to approach you on social media. However, that comes with a few cautions. The communication from the debt collector has to be private. For example, they’re not allowed to post anything on your Facebook page that your friends and family could see. Debt collectors also have to properly identify themselves along with the amount of the debt, and where the debt is originally from. They’re also required to give you the option to opt-out of receiving any social media messages from them.

    However, with these new regulations, authorities are worried about scammers approaching people on social media while posing as debt collectors. According to the Better Business Bureau, if you think you’re talking to a scammer, end all communication immediately. Instead, you can go to the BBB website to make sure the agency is legitimate. You can also use the same tricks against scammers that you can use to protect your rights against debt collectors. Ask them for a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. You should also check your state’s law to see when the statute of limitations on debt expires.

    However, we should warn, that if you choose to ignore messages from debt collectors this could negatively affect your credit whether the debt is correct or not.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , debt collectors,   

    What do debt collectors and scammers have in common? 

    What do debt collectors and scammers have in common?

    By Greg Collier

    These days, debt collectors seem to be an unavoidable fact of life. Some people just aren’t financially able to pay some bills like medical expenses. Some others even go out of their way to avoid paying any debt in their name. Even people with perfect credit sometimes miss a relatively small payment or an unclaimed debt seems to slip through the cracks. Anyway you look at it, most of us will end up dealing with a debt collector at some time or another. While legitimate debt collectors aren’t scammers, they do employ some of the same tactics that scammers use.

    Just like scammers, debt collectors will try to pressure you into a making a payment right then and there. First, you have a right to know when and where the debt came from. The collection agency might not have this information, since they may have bought the debt from someone else. At this point, you should ask for a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. You’ll also want to check with your state to see when the statute of limitations on debt is. If the collection agency is asking you to pay a debt that’s older than the statute of limitations, if you start paying on that debt it starts the statute of limitations over again.

    If a debt collector threatens to have you arrested or garnish your wages, they are breaking the law. Unfortunately, this does not stop some debt collectors from using this tactic. This is a trick used to go after people with debt that the collection agency doesn’t plan on actually taking legal action against.

    If you receive repeated calls from a debt collector, you should look into your state’s laws concerning debt collection harassment as well. Just because someone may owe a debt doesn’t mean they should be treated as a second class citizen.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: debt collectors, , ,   

    Are debt collectors coming for your stimulus check? 

    Are debt collectors coming for your stimulus check?

    Debt is a delicate topic to discuss. There are those who think that anyone who is in debt must have lived outside their means and wasted all their money on frivolities. While cases like that certainly exist, the truth is that most people who are in debt are that way because of an unforeseen incident that happened in their life. Much of consumer debt comes from medical issues that even with health insurance still incurs a great deal of debt. The point that we’re making is that not everyone who is in debt is some deadbeat who refuses to pay their bills and spends their money on the latest model of an expensive TV. Having said that, to those people who are in debt through no fault if their own, debt collectors may be coming for your economic impact payment or as it’s more colloquially known your stimulus check.

    The stimulus checks were intended for people to be able to pay for food, rent, and utilities during this uncertain time. However, there are few protections in place preventing debt collectors from coming after your stimulus check when you need it most. While some states and larger municipalities have passed legislation to protect consumers the majority of stimulus recipients have no such protections. It could be especially problematic for those who have had garnishments levied against them. In many garnishment cases, the debt collectors have an agreement with your bank and are monitoring any payments that come into your account. In this case, your stimulus payment could be intercepted and be taken as garnishment.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DiPIEPP7IU%5D

    So what can someone do if they need that stimulus payment just to keep a roof over their head or food on the table? One thing you can do is to go to the IRS portal
    and change your form of payment from direct deposit to a physical check. This way you can get the check cashed without having the debt collectors knowing that you’ve received your stimulus payment.

    While you should pay off your debts in a reasonable matter, most people should never have to go hungry or homeless because of them.

    (H/T Market Watch)

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: debt collectors, , ,   

    Debt can have an expiration date 

    Debt can have an expiration date

    Debt collection is an unusual business. In some states, you have to have a perfect credit record in order to work in debt collection. You’d think they’d hire people with bad credit since they’re the ones who know how to avoid collectors. It’s also not unusual for certain debts to be passed on from the initial vendor to a debt collection agency and then to other debt collectors down the road. So it may not come as much of a surprise that some of these debts end up in the hands of collectors who may not follow the law when it comes to trying to get money out of people who probably don’t have it.

    Debt collectors can sue you for any amount that’s been sent to collections. However, they only usually bother with lawsuits if they’re owed a substantial amount of money. On top of that, they have a limited window in which to file suit depending on the state. Due to the vast amount of debt some of these collectors have purchased, they don’t always meet the deadline to file a lawsuit. According to the Better Business Bureau, this hasn’t stopped some debt collection agencies from trying to collect on debts by threatening lawsuits even though the statute of limitations has been reached.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2VFeQgZ0-w%5D

    Each state has its own statute of limitations. So before you agree to any kind of payment, not only should you check to make sure the debt is legitimate or not, but you should also make sure if the statut of limitations has been reached. In many states, if a collector is threatening to sue you after the statute of limitations that can be considered as harassment. Sadly, that’s not the only underhanded tactic that some debt collectors use. Maybe in the future, we’ll have more posts about how to protect yourself from underhanded debt collectors.

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