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Avoiding scams related to child support collection

Many Texas parents are unable to effectively communicate with each other concerning the needs of their shared children. In such cases, collecting child support payments is often a chore, and can lead to a great deal of stress on both sides. Some parents turn to collection companies to assist them in this process, but in doing so, make themselves vulnerable to a range of scams.

For example, a recent court case focused on businesses that claimed to aid parents in the collection of unpaid child support. The two men behind the scam set up multiple companies that claimed to offer these services. When distressed custodial parents connected the businesses, they were asked to provide detailed information about the other parent. The noncustodial parent would then begin receiving calls and mail aimed at collecting past due child support payments.

These parents often received threats, ranging from the loss of their driving privilege to arrest. Parents were contacted at their place of employment, which added an extra layer of stress to the situation. Some of those contacted did make payment, and monies were turned over to the custodial parent. However, not before the companies withheld their "fees," which were nearly a third of the total amount collected.

The two men behind these companies were recently sentenced to more than one year in prison for their role in this child support scam. For families affected, both the custodial and noncustodial parents were victimized. Unfortunately, the children for whom these payments were intended are the real losers. This case serves as a warning to all Texas parents of the importance of following the proper procedures in the collection of unpaid child support.

Source: local12.com, "Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Child support scam", Howard Ain, Sept. 9, 2014

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