The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Maryland has issued a warning that phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers. This fairly sophisticated scam uses information from the bankruptcy filing and a fake caller ID to convince that victim that their Lawyer, the Trustee, or the Court is demanding that they wire money to satisfy a debt. This scam has been reported in various States across the country and as close by as Virginia. It seems almost inevitable that this scam will eventually target residents of Southern Maryland.
If you ever get a call demanding you provide wire information do not provide any personal or financial information. Here are some tell-tale signs it is a scam. If you are in bankruptcy you should never get a call asking you to wire funds. Here in Maryland the Trustees don’t accept wire transfers, and never take a payment by phone. Trustee Nancy Spencer Grigsby does accept payments by bank transfer, but this by an E-pay system on her website. Besides, her office would never call you directly. Many of these scams resort to saying that if you don’t make a payment you will be arrested. The call is coming after regular business hours or on a weekend. You would never get a call from the Court at 7 pm, and most likely you will never get a call that late from my office unless it is from me.
As part of the bankruptcy process, we need to obtain copies of many of your financial records so we can draft your Bankruptcy Petition and provide documents to the Trustee. Since we need proof of the documents for our file we would never need you to just give us your bank account information over the phone. Take the time to err on the side of caution. If you get a call that raises any doubt in your mind just say you need to call back and hang up. Then dial our number or email us to verify that you were talking to someone from my office.