Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Perfect Storm

I bet you can name at least 1 person you know first hand that has more revolving debt than they can hope to pay off in the next 5 years...

Couple this with the fact that the odds are really good that the person you're thinking of has had their credit file, or some portion thereof, stolen in the past year or so and you have the following situation.

7:00pm, Residence of John Debtor
{phone rings}
[John Debtor] "Hello?"
[Voice] "Hello Mr. Debtor, this is Mr. Scammer, I'm with the Fake Collection Agency, we've received your file for collection on your Acme High Interest credit card. Is now a good time to talk?"
[John Debtor] ... recalls that he does have an Acme High Interest credit card, and hasn't paid it in a few months.... "Yes, now is fine."
[Voice] "We'd like to offer you a chance to settle the debt for 50% of the total owned, is this something you would be interested in?"
[John Debtor] {very excited to settle for 50% of his total debt} "Yes, I would like to do that!"
[Voice] "Great, let's proceed... first I'll need you to confirm your information."

You know where it goes from there. First the credit card information, full number, expiration, CVV/CVV2, then we move onto home address and any other details they can get out of our happy debtor, which likely includes the SSN. The next logical step is to "get payment" for the 50% settlement.


[Voice] "Now sir, we'll need to make a bank draft to make this official... can you please go grab your checkbook? I'll need your routing number, checking account number, and check number..."

... at this point the game is over. John Debtor thinks he is helping himself out of debt when in fact, something much more sinister has transpired.

So what do you do if you're actually in debt? Do you trust debt collectors? How do you know which one to trust since they're all slimy and will lie any chance they get to collect?

This is a real dilemma, I think, that's plaguing our nation (and probably other places in the world) where there is no solution currently. We could simply say never trust someone when they call you but then again... what if they're calling from your credit card company? What if they already know your details like things a legitimate caller from your credit card company would know? CallerID is certainly no help here as it can be spoofed...

I'm left wondering - what's the solution?

1 comment:

JibbaJabber said...

Become a hobo, they have it made.