The New York Times has a story today about the I.R.S. beginning to use outside private debt collection companies to collect on overdue tax payments. This immediately raises significant concerns that the most vulnerable tax payers could be quickly targeted through this system.
For years I have worked with individuals who have been targeted by pay day loan companies and fake debt collectors who have purchased information from the pay day loan companies to use to try to scam individuals. Now, armed with the knowledge that private debt collectors are going to be used by the I.R.S., these scammers will have a whole new angle to prey upon people with their scams.
The optimists in Washington will hope that these private debt collectors will not violate any laws or rules and will be effective in collecting these debts, which the article estimates to be at $138 billion. It probably helps us all if the government is able to collect on money that it is properly owed, but this sort of system will create a whole new type of scam to prey upon people.
Going forward, it will be even more important for people to verify that the debt collector who is on the phone is really collecting an authentic debt...