Phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued a warning that “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”

Bankruptcy filers in Vermont and Virginia reportedly have received calls. Vermont’s Attorney General says scammers use software to “spoof” the Caller ID system so the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Typically the calls come late in the evening or during non-business hours to make it difficult for intended victims to verify the call by contacting their attorney.

Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.

Under this new process, any check presented at the Clerk’s Office for payment of fees (both at the Intake window and by mail) will be scanned and converted into an electronic funds transfer at the time the check is received and the check amount will be immediately debited from the account identified on the check.

As in the past, the Clerk’s Office will retain an image of each check. However, instead of forwarding checks to the Court’s bank for processing, checks will be shredded and will appear as an electronic transfer on the presenter’s bank statement.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Court’s Call Center at the toll free number (855) 460-9641.

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