Phone scamming from public information is becoming more and more prevalent with the access to information through online resources. We have seen firsthand the impact of phone scams involving the IRS and other debt collection matters.
Now, a recent scam is targeting bankruptcy filers. As is reported in this article published by the US Courts, phone scammers are posing as attorneys and trying to induce bankruptcy clients to wire transfer money to immediately satisfy a debt. They have suggested that unless funds are immediately wire transferred, they may face serious consequences, including arrest.
First, if you are currently a debtor in a Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and are contacted by phone in this manner you should immediately contact your bankruptcy attorney before doing or saying anything. Clients of Gillman & Gillman, LLC, may contact us at any time to inquire about any issues in their case. As was stated by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”
Further, although this scam may cause concern for those filing bankruptcy about the availability of their information, please understand that those attempting this scam are criminals and committing both federal and state crimes for which they will face significant punishment. The Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules have strong protections against the disclosure of “Personal Identifying Information” such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit account numbers, etc. The Courts consistently monitor all documents filed in bankruptcy cases and require both debtors’ and creditors’ attorneys to “redact” information if it is inadvertently disclosed.
All in all, we hope those facing serious debt problems are able to review these matters in a thoughtful and considered way with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand any risk of such disclosure.