JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - They are being threatened with jail time for debts they do not even owe.
Officials in Johnson County say several people are getting phone calls from fake debt collectors saying if they do not pay up in so many hours they will be arrested.
But officials say you cannot be arrested for owing money.
The phone rings, you answer, and someone claiming to be a debt collector tells you to pay up or you go to jail.
"Most people know it doesn't work that way. There's a court process," said Johnson County Deputy Tim Clark.
It is happening more frequently and has happened to many people in Johnson County.
"She told me that this person had all of her personal information, knew everything, and she'd never done any business with anyone," said Clark.
Johnson County Attorney Michael Endicott says he has talked to one of these scammers who told him he was calling from the United Bureau Fund.
"There is no such thing as the United Bureau Fund. As best we can tell it's a phony collection type agency that is not legitimate at all," he said.
He reported that one to the U.S. Attorney because the call came out of New York, but the calls are reported from all over and officials say they are getting harder to track.
"I just tell everybody if it don't sound right just call us before you do anything," said Clark.
Officials say the best thing to do is use common sense. If you get a phone call that seems suspicious, hang it up before you lose any money or your identity gets stolen.
"You should know if you own a debt or not. If you don't owe a debt don't pay it. Obviously don't even think about it," said Endicott.
Officials say if you get one of these calls report it to authorities right away and never give out personal information.