DENVER (CBS4)– A debt collection scam uses scare tactics in an attempt to swindle people out of money. Now the Better Business Bureau and Denver’s District Attorney are warning about threatening callers pretending to be lawyers or debt collectors.
In the latest round of scams, con artists are targeting Spanish-speakers and seniors.
A so-called debt collector called the Tortas Y Tacos El Chino restaurant. The family-owned business is located in Aurora and has been for the past 13 years.
Hector Rodriguez’s mother recently received a call at the restaurant from someone who claimed to be a lawyer calling about complaints from the Better Business Bureau.
The caller indicated the business was on a 90-day probation by the BBB and if she didn’t pay a fine the business would be closed in 30 days.
“She was freaking out trying to figure out what to do, running back and forth trying to see if she can scrounge up the money,” said Rodriguez. “I think it was close to $2,000.”
The con artists even appeared to have staked out the restaurant but cameras on the property didn’t identify anyone.
It turns out the restaurant didn’t have any complaints with the BBB.
“They were very aggressive. They were saying, their tone was harsh towards my mom,” said Rodriguez.
The calls didn’t stop there. Rodriguez’s mother also received a call from someone claiming to be with the electric company claiming if the bill wasn’t paid immediately the power would be shut off.
That call was also a scam.
The BBB advises anyone who receives a call like that to not give out any personal or financial information.
Also verify that you don’t have any outstanding debt.
Be sure to report the call to the Federal Trade Commission, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Better Business Bureau.