The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is warning about a scam that's generating numerous complaints.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery said residents should not respond to telephone solicitations and threats from people claiming to be collection representatives of the county attorney's office.
Montgomery said people are complaining they've been harassed by collection agents who identify themselves as MCAO representatives. The fraudulent agencies threaten legal action if the person fails to pay off a bounced check they may have written in the past, Montgomery said.
"This is a scam, pure and simple, and people should hang up the phone immediately," he said.
Residents who receive such phone calls should report them to the County Attorney's Office by calling 602-372-7300 or e-mailing email@example.com.
The County Attorney's Office said it has received many complaints from people who at one time wrote a bad check that was submitted to MCAO's Check Enforcement Program, which recovers restitution for individuals and merchants who receive bad checks.
However, this program never contacts bad check writers by phone to demand payment. In many instances, scam operators target people who have already paid off their bad checks through the program.
"Anyone who receives such a call should report it to our office," Montgomery said.
Since its creation in the late 1980s, MCAO's Check Enforcement Program has successfully recovered more than $40 million in restitution for victims of bad checks and processes about 6,000 bad checks each year.
Most offenders are provided an opportunity to avoid legal action by paying the full amount of the check plus any statutory fees. The program is offered as a free service to individuals and merchants who receive bad checks.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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