How the scam works:
You’re having your ritual post-work winding down session in front of the tube when you receive a call from a lawyer. He says he’s representing a company you apparently subscribed to two years ago, but you never paid the money that was due. He lets you know you could be on the wrong end of some legal action.
You argue with him, since you never purchased any subscription. He tells you it was likely your spouse or children. He says that if you don’t pay by tomorrow, you’ll be taken to court.
The amount isn’t significant, somewhere around $80, and your family is out for the night so you figure you might as well pay and get it over with. You give him your payment information, thinking that it will be dealt with. It isn’t and the charges on your credit card will likely far exceed the cost of twenty years’ magazine subscriptions.
How to avoid:
Plenty of red flags in this scenario. First off, if you owe money, you will get several letters before legal action is pursued.
Second, a lawyer won’t call you late at night to say you only have a few hours before they get litigious.
Third, in scenarios where you owe money to a company or organization, they will offer you more ways to pay than just handing over your credit card information to some anonymous person on the other line. Scammers play on enthusiasm or panic. Sometimes the best way to combat scams is to take a step back and exercise critical thinking. It’s the con-artist’s kryptonite. Unfortunately, lots of people are still falling for this scam.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
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