What would you do if you got a tip there was an arrest warrant out because you hadn’t paid one of your bills?
- Scrape up the money any way you can?
- Get out of town?
The right answer is “laugh”.
In the US we don’t arrest people for owing money they can’t pay.
Yet scammers are out in force, counting on you having slept through civics. Whether it’s a phone call or an email, the scam works like the email below, received by a colleage’s client.
Case No. ADR59832
We receive Arrest warrant against your name
Kindly call as soon as possible before the court case is file
in order to get a settlement before you have any trouble at
your home or job.
Federal Investigation Department
Juliet, ill, 60431
I stripped out the no-doubt bogus phone number to call for instructions on how to buy off the agent of the “Federal Investigation Department” by sending money.
It would be funny, if it didn’t work so well for the bad guys.
Victimizing the vulnerable
This scam works, often enough to keep it in circulation, because you feel exposed and guilty when you can’t pay your legitimate bills.
The scammers count on exploiting those emotions and generating a bit of terror to part you from your money.
Rest assured, none of that money will find its way to your real creditors.
When arrest is possible
There are a few situations when you can get arrested in connection with your debts. One is blatant refusal to pay child support or spousal support when you have the ability to do so.
The other instance is only partially related to your unpaid debts. If a creditor gets a judgment, the creditor can ask the court to order you to appear and answer questions about your assets.
Blow off that court order and you can get arrested. But what you are arrested for is not failing to pay. It’s for ignoring a judge’s order to come and testify.
Get immunity from this scam
If you are stressed enough about your financial situation that the threat of arrest for your debts seems real, you need to take steps to solve the underlying problem.
This site and other reliable legal sites can tell you about your collection rights. A consumer lawyer can help you figure out if bankruptcy or a related remedy will restore your peace of mind.
But don’t be sending your money to the folks at the Federal Investigation Department!