What are Louisiana Debt Collection Scams?
These are scams conducted over the phone to extort residents of Louisiana. Services such as text messages, live phone calls, spam calls, and automated phone calls commonly referred to as robocalls, are often used in scammers' deceptive schemes. Louisianians can retrieve the identity information of persons who try to cheat them using reverse phone lookup services. Any phone scammer aims to steal money and sensitive information, which, in turn, is used for identity and financial thefts.
The Consumer Protection Section of the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General (OAG) accepts and reviews phone scam complaints from residents. Also, the various local law enforcement agencies in the state help to investigate incidents of phone scams. To report a phone scam incident in Louisiana to the LOAG, fill and submit an online complaint form or call (225) 326-6465. Residents can also file complaints of Louisiana phone scams online with the Federal Communications Commission (FTC). Some of the frequently perpetrated phone scams in Louisiana include:
- Jury duty scams, where fraudsters inform their targets of missing jury duty and must pay fines to avoid arrest.
- Charity scams involve con artists who claim to be representatives of charity organizations and ask for donations in a bid to extort them.
- In social security scams, scammers impersonate employees of Social Security to steal targets' identities and money.
- Tech support scams, where fraudulent persons who claim to be with familiar computer companies rip their targets off.
- Kidnapping scams, where scammers request ransoms to rip off relatives of fake kidnap victims. It is sometimes referred to as virtual kidnapping scams.
- Utility scams, in which scammers pretend to be employees of utility companies and inform their targets to clear their unpaid bills.
- Traffic citation scams, where fraudsters inform targets about false traffic charges and demand fines payment to avoid jail or arrest.
- In debt collection scams, fraudsters attempt to force their targets to pay money that they do not owe.
Other popular phone scams in the State of Louisiana include:
- COVID-19 contact tracing scams
- IRS scams
- Emergency scams
- Investment scams
- Employment scams
- Vehicle warranty scams
- Lottery scams
These scams rank among the top Louisianians' phone scam complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The scammers claim to be with familiar and legitimate debt collection agencies and coerce their targets into paying non-existent debts, using abusive and deceptive tactics. Fake debt collectors will insist that targets have delinquent loans even when they try to challenge such claims. They often threaten potential victims who seem hesitant with arrests or legal actions. Sometimes, they will threaten to disclose such debts to their targets' employers and relatives in a bid to get them to pay up. These scammers favor payment by wire transfer and prepaid debit cards.
It is illegitimate for debt collectors to threaten arrest. If you receive this type of call and are threatened with arrest, hang up immediately. Run the caller's number through an application that offers a reverse phone lookup service to retrieve the person's identity. Never send money to them or disclose personal details to avoid identity theft. You can report debt collection phone scams by filing a complaint online with the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Alternatively, victims of debt collection scams can report their encounters by contacting the FTC at 1 (888) 382-1222.
What are Louisiana Social Security Scams?
Social security scams majorly aim to perpetrate identity thefts. In these scams, persons who pretend to be employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) contact their targets to rip them off. There are many variations to social security frauds. In a popular version of the scam in Louisiana, fraudsters inform targets that their social security numbers (SSNs) have been suspended as a result of suspected criminal activities. During the call, the scammers will ask their potential victims to confirm SSNs to enable them to reactivate the alleged suspended numbers. They may also demand payment to clear their marks' names off the purported criminal investigations or threaten arrest if they do not comply. Their preferred methods of accepting payment include credit cards, wire transfer, and gift cards.
Louisianians should know that the SSA does not suspend residents' SSN for any reason and will never solicit money over the phone. Anyone who calls and requests your SSN in the name of SSA is likely a scammer. The SSA has such information on file. Report all social security scams online to the Office of the Inspector General, SSA, or file complaints with the OAG.
What are Louisiana Tech Support Scams?
Tech support fraudsters are out to steal their targets' money and identity, but phone lookup applications can help Louisianians recognize them and avoid such scams. In this scam, the callers pretend to work with their targets' computer companies and claim to have detected threatening viruses and malware. To save their marks' computers from such imminent attacks, the scammers will ask for remote access to their computers. Once they have access, the fraudsters will feign to be fixing the issues and then request payment for repairs. These scammers typically prefer credit cards, money transfer, or gift cards for payment of fake delivered services. They often ask their targets to provide credit card numbers and PINs to complete payment. Most tech support scammers also use such opportunities to deploy some malware capable of culling targets' personal information from their computers for identity thefts.
Residents of Louisiana should be wary of these scams and hang up their phones when they receive such calls. Granting remote access to computers by strangers is like opening your doors to thieves. Do not share your credit card details with anyone over the phone to avoid being ripped off. Louisianans can report incidents of tech support scams to their local law enforcement agencies or file complaints online with the OAG.
What are Louisiana Traffic Citation Scams?
To cheat Louisianians out of money, some scammers impersonate law enforcement officers and accuse them of false outstanding traffic charges. In order to avoid being arrested, these fraudsters will instruct their targets to pay fines. They favor wire transfers or tell their victims to purchase gift cards for payment. If you receive a call from anyone with traffic citation claims, do not pay them, but hang up immediately. Always verify such calls from your local law enforcement agencies to avoid falling victim. You can find the identifying details of these scammers by looking up their numbers on reverse phone number search websites. Law enforcement does not call to solicit fines or threaten residents with arrest or jail over the phone. Persons who are victims of these scams in the state should report their ordeals to the Louisiana State Police on (225) 925-6006. It is necessary that they also contact the nearest law enforcement agency to them and file official complaints.
How Do I Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Phone Scam?
Here are some precautions to take to avoid falling for the cons of phone scammers:
- Never pay unknown persons who ask you to send money via wire transfer, gift cards, or bitcoins. These are payment channels favored by phone scammers. Retrieving money sent using these methods is hard and untraceable.
- If you suspect fraud, do not act immediately. Hang up and talk to someone you can trust. Doing this can make you realize that you have been a target for a scam.
- Do not be pressured into making decisions on the phone. Phone scammers are known for employing threats and pressure tactics in their schemes.
- Never share personal or financial information with anyone over the phone, especially if you did not initiate such calls. These are the keys to identity and financial thefts.
- Do not trust the caller IDs of incoming calls. Some scammers use a technology called spoofing to falsify Caller ID information, making them appear legitimate when they are indeed fraudsters.
- Register your number on Louisiana Do Not Call List and National Do Not Call Registry to prevent robocall scams.
- Beware of special or bogus offers. Such offers will promise to deliver massive things in exchange for personal information or a small fee, but the end is often a loss for the targets.
- Be wary of unknown persons who call to offer help in recovering your losses after being victimized, especially when it comes at a fee.