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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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A few days after my relative’s obituary appeared in the papers, I got a call from someone who said they were a debt collector and that my relative had owed money. They are telling me I have to pay and asking me for my bank account information so they can withdraw the funds. How do I know if this is a scam? What can I do?


Do not ever give your bank account information to someone who calls you on the phone. This could be a scam. You are not obligated to give the caller this information.

Don't give any of your personal information, like your Social Security number, birth date, or financial account numbers to anyone unless you know whom you're dealing with. Some scammers may check obituaries and other legal notices, and then contact relatives of a deceased posing as debt collectors. These scam artists can use your personal information to help them commit identity theft or other types of fraud. You are not obligated to pay debts you do not owe. You may wish to consult with an attorney to find out about your rights.

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