Scam Alert: Don't fall for bill collection

12/14/2008 2:49 AM

12/14/2008 2:53 AM

THE SCAM: Taken to collections

HOW IT WORKS: For some consumers, a notice from a collections company may not be valid. Consumers have reported receiving phone messages that tell them one of their accounts has been forwarded to a collections company. These messages claim the victims need to contact the company and gives them a number to call. They are then asked a series of questions designed to get personal financial information and, in some cases, money to stop collections action.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your money and your information

HOW TO BEAT IT: If you receive such a message, check whether you have any bills that might have been referred to collections. You also can get a free credit report to see if someone has run up unpaid bills in your name. If you do call a collections number, get details about the bill in question before giving out any information.

For a look at past scams, go to

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