Tags: Diabolical | Dupe | Targets | Grieving | Families

Diabolical Dupe Targets Grieving Families

Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM

Imagine this: You have just suffered the loss of a loved one when you receive in the mail a notice from a bogus collection agency. This official-looking document states that your deceased family member owes money on an unpaid and overdue credit card bill. The collection company demands that you pay an amount, usually between $100 and $700.

Well, unfortunately, you don't have to imagine such a queasy swindle. According to media reports, this alleged dupe has already reached victims in at least nine states.

This collection company announcement asserts that the deceased's credit card account is perilously delinquent and that immediate payment is necessary to avoid negative credit bureau reports or even potential legal consequences.

In the cases reported so far, the telephone number listed on the collection agency's invoice is disconnected, and the address on the return envelope is really just a mail drop.

If this shady shakedown was not cold-blooded enough, preying on those in mourning, it seems to particularly target seniors. In one instance, an elderly man was reported to have received such a sham collection notice, stating that his wife, who had recently passed away, owed a substantially past-due credit card debt.

Luckily, this wise senior was not an easy mark. He checked his late wife's credit card numbers and found that none matched the account number on the collection statement. He also tried to contact the collection company, but to no avail. He then contacted his local Better Business Bureau, and he was told of this possible scheme.

These wicked dregs of society will try to take advantage of you when you may be at your weakest emotionally, during your time of bereavement. Do not automatically pay any questionable bill or collection demand. Do the research and take the time to make sure the claim is absolutely valid.

Copyright 2002 by Bruce Mandelblit

"Staying Safe" with Bruce Mandelblit is a regular column for the readers of NewsMax.com and NewsMax.com magazine.

Bruce welcomes your security, safety and crime prevention questions. He will answer questions of general interest in his column. Bruce's e-mail address is

Bruce is a nationally known security specialist, as well as a highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer.

Bruce was recently commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel - the state's highest honor - by Gov. Paul E. Patton for his public service.

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

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Imagine this:You have just suffered the loss of a loved one when you receive in the mail a notice from a bogus collection agency.This official-looking document states that your deceased family member owes money on an unpaid and overdue credit card bill. The...
Diabolical,Dupe,Targets,Grieving,Families
417
2002-00-04
Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM
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