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Bankruptcy Filers: Be on Alert for a Phone Scam

December 16, 2015

If you have recently or are currently in the process of filing for bankruptcy, be on alert. There has been a phone scam circulating where individuals pose as attorneys to get their intended victims to wire money immediately to satisfy debts. These scammers lift personal information from the paperwork used in bankruptcy filings.

Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for an immediate wire transfer to satisfy the debt. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys also warned that bankruptcy attorneys and staff would never threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.

As of October 2015, bankruptcy filers in Vermont and Virginia have received and reported such calls. According to Vermont’s Attorney General, scammers use a type of software that can ‘spoof’ the Caller ID system to make the call look like it is coming from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. These calls mostly arrive during late evening hours or non-business hours, making it purposefully difficult for intended victims to contact their attorney in an effort to verify the legitimacy of the call.

If you receive such a call, you are advised to hang up immediately and contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Be sure that you do not give any personal or financial account information to this caller. If you have any questions about the above material or wish to speak to an attorney, please contact HoganWillig at 716-636-7600. HoganWillig is located at 2410 North Forest Road in Amherst, New York 14068, with additional offices in Buffalo, Lancaster, and Lockport.