Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Warns Consumers About Debt-Relief Scams
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his Consumer Protection Division is receiving an increased number of complaints from victims of financial scams. In addition to calls from victims, investigators are receiving several calls per day from consumers just wanting to report contacts from suspicious companies.
While more Kentuckians are unfortunately facing layoffs during the economic downturn, scam artists are working overtime to prey on people’s fears and trick debt-ridden consumers into paying money for bogus debt-relief services or non-existent government grants,” said Attorney General Conway.
The Attorney General’s Office reports that some bogus debt relief companies are calling consumers to leave messages that may entice them to return the call, such as, “it appears that you qualify for a $1,000 advance, if you call today, you will get first priority status.” Upon calling the 866 number, a staff member at the Attorney General’s Office was greeted with profanity and then switched over to a supervisor to process the request. The number appears to ring into an offshore boiler room. The supervisor indicated someone would call back to explain the program.
“Bogus calls are being reported to my office regularly,” General Conway said. “Consumers report that they obtained information from the Internet on free government grants or stimulus payments, or received unsolicited telephone calls. Consumers should not respond to the offers, nor should they complete online forms in order to qualify for the so-called ‘free grants.’ These could be efforts by con artists to steal credit-card information, to make unauthorized charges, or to steal personal information to further victimize the consumer with identity theft.”
Consumers are urged not to respond to these calls or other calls offering foreclosure relief. Avoid any company that requests an upfront fee. Check locally with non-profit credit counseling services, the Better Business Bureau and the Office of the Attorney General before you do business with a company offering these types of services. Debt adjusters are required to register with the Office of the Attorney General.
If you are in danger of foreclosure, contact Protect My Kentucky Home at 866-830-7868 for advice and assistance. To report suspicious companies offering debt-relief services, contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257.