Each year, the FTC releases a list of top consumer fraud complaints. Although the exact numbers change from year to year, 3 types of complaints are consistently at the top. These are debt collection, identity theft, and imposter scams.
In total, consumers lost $905 million to fraud in 2017. If you or a loved one has been a victim, don’t hesitate to contact Chicago consumer fraud lawyers Markoff Leinberger at 888-517-9115 to schedule your free consultation.
Debt collection agencies often harass consumers and may resort to unethical means to force consumers into paying. Many debtors don’t realize that they are protected from harassment and abusive conduct by debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act was put in place to ensure that people who owe debts still have the right to be treated fairly and with respect.
Debt collectors have to identify themselves properly when calling, and they are not allowed to use abusive language, threaten you, continue to contact you if you request that they stop, tell you that they will sue if you don’t pay, or attempt to collect a debt that is past the statute of limitations.
One of the most common types of identity theft is credit card fraud, where a scammer obtains your credit or debit card information and makes purchases with it. You should always keep an eye on your credit card and bank statements, and if you notice suspicious activity notify your bank and cancel your credit card/debit card immediately.
Unauthorized credit card purchases can tank your credit score, which can adversely affect your ability to get house or car loans, or even to rent an apartment or open a new credit card. Call our experienced consumer fraud lawyers if you have been a victim of credit card fraud or other identity theft.
There are quite a few different types of imposter scams, often targeting the elderly. Some of the main ones to look out for are:
- Tech support: In tech support scams, someone calls and tells you that there’s a virus on your computer, but they can fix it if you give them remote access or pay for a new anti-virus software. It is never a good idea to give an unverified caller remote access to your computer, and you should never install software that doesn’t come from a verified and reputable source.
- IRS: IRS imposter scams are particularly prevalent during tax season. Someone will call pretending to be from the IRS saying that you owe money to the government, and may threaten you with legal action if you don’t pay. However, the IRS will always contact you by mail before calling, and they will never ask for money over the phone.
- Personal relation: Also called “grandparent scam” or “grandkid scam,” these types of scams often involve someone calling and claiming to be the victim’s grandchild. They will generally pretend to need money immediately for some emergency, and ask to keep it a secret. Never send money without first verifying that this person is actually who they say they are.
If you know someone who has been targeted by an imposter scam, call our consumer fraud lawyers today for guidance on what to do next.
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If you or a loved one has been a victim of consumer fraud, don’t hesitate to contact Markoff Leinberger today at 888-517-9115. We serve clients in Chicago and nationwide.