This story is so outrageous that I cannot figure out why it has not gone viral on the internet. Unicredit America Inc, a debt collection firm, had people dress up (pretending to be police), serve fake papers to people requiring them to show up in court.
People showed up in a fake court for a fake hearing with a fake witness stand, and an individual in black pretending to be a judge.
It isn’t easy for consumers to protect themselves these days, from robo-signers, foreclosure-rescue scams, and all manner of abusive collection tactics, but the Unicredit scam may take the prize for sheer audacity. It seems that Erie, Pennsylvania debt collection agency Unicredit not only set up a fake courtroom, complete with phony judge, with which to bamboozle and intimidate, but it dressed up employees like sheriff’s deputies to “serve” faked court papers on consumers.
The Unicredit scam, as outrageous as it is, differs mainly in scope from tactics that are commonly used by creditors and collection agencies, whose stock in trade is to mislead, exaggerate, and intimidate.
And while I haven’t seen the pseudo-courtroom scam before, the pseudo-law enforcement official is nothing new.
It’s not always easy when you are scared and someone is breathing down your neck, but again, that is a debt collector’s stock in trade. The more urgent he makes everything sound, the more likely you won’t slow down to think, and ask yourself some practical questions.
The most important and most practical advice is to go see an attorney. If you’re being threatened with legal action, an attorney can tell you what really can (and can’t) happen. If you’ve already been intimidated or scammed into giving up something you shouldn’t have, an attorney can tell you how to redress the situation. An attorney can also help you come up with a plan for addressing persistent credit problems, explain your options, and tell you what you can do about it. Knowledge is power, and it is the best, and most effective weapon you can have in protecting yourself from scam artists of all kinds–even the ones you owe.
I concur with the advice of Dana Wilkinson, Attorney at Law who wrote the above. If you are facing financial difficulties, please see the article for additional tips on how to protect yourself.
For still more reasons on why you need to consult an attorney in these matters please consider
Pennsylvania Attorney General Files Charges
How could anyone at Unicredit possibly think what they did was legal?