Post-Holiday Scammers on Prowl for Those in Debt

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS) -

If you rang up some big credit-card bills during the shopping season, you’re just the type of person scammers are looking for.

That’s the word from the Federal Communications Commission, which is warning about an upturn this time of year in calls from crooks offering to ease money troubles by refinancing bills under better terms or rates.

“The FCC has received a growing number of complaints from consumers about scammers claiming that they can offer debt relief or refinancing opportunities,” the agency said.

The thieves ask for credit card numbers or other personal financial information, which they use to make fraudulent purchases or to steal the victim’s money, the FTC said.

The callers may threaten or harass consumers who refuse to cooperate.

People who believe they’ve been targeted by this type of scam should write down the number and report the incident to local police, the FCC said.

Complaints also should be filed online with the FCC’s consumer help center, the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint assistant and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s complaint page.