New Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers in Panama City, FL

A new scam targeting bankruptcy filers has emerged in Florida and several other states under which con artists, posing as the intended victim’s bankruptcy attorney or a staff member, are calling and telling the consumer to wire money immediately to satisfy a debt. The callers may threaten the consumer with dismissal of their ongoing bankruptcy case, discharge revocation, or even arrest. Callers tend to be sophisticated and well-informed with knowledge of details about the case including the judge’s name and case status.

This scam is being used against bankruptcy clients in Northwest Florida. Here is what happened to one of our clients who received his discharge and his case was over. My client received a call during non-business hours using “spoofing” technology to make it appear on Caller ID that the call was coming from my office. The caller identified himself as an associate of mine and explained that a creditor was opposing discharge and that, in order to prevent unraveling of the case, the attorney had negotiated a settlement outside bankruptcy under which my client must immediately wire money directly to the creditor. Failure to do so was likely to result in his discharge being revoke or he would be arrested. Fortunately, my client suspected a scam and hung up.

I wanted to inform you that under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney or staff member ever threaten arrest if a debt is not paid. If you ever receive a call like this the best thing to do upon receipt of one of these calls is to hang up without giving out any personal or account information and contact our office as soon as possible. This advice holds true if you ever receive a call from the IRS or a debt collector making threats.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or if you are experiencing financial problems and would like to set up a free appointment please call our office.