Philadelphia is an aesthetically pleasing city throughout the year, and the holiday season between November and January makes it even more pleasing to the eyes.
Unfortunately, it is also the time of the year when the scam artists, flimflam opportunists, and generally dishonest people trying to get money illegally from honest folks also seem to come out in droves.
At the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, we regularly receive inquiries during the holidays from people who have been called by a creditor claiming the sheriff’s office has a warrant out for them and will come to arrest them if they don’t pay a delinquent debt.
These company’s and/or individuals usually go by official sounding names like Legal Recovery Services, which is an organization mentioned by a number of surrounding counties as being responsible for defrauding many individuals by using the “warrant” line to force you to give them money.
A common approach is to claim that someone has taken out an online loan in your name that has gone into default and you must pay up or face arrest from the sheriff.
First and foremost, if you hear that, you know it’s a lie.
The Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County does not telegraph the fact we have a warrant out for an individual, and we would never call up the individual to tell them we have a warrant. We would simply show up at the door.
Also, my office has no relationship whatsoever with creditors of any sort, especially when it comes to the enforcement of a non-court ordered debt.
Or, there are others who claim to have some special access to the sheriff’s office that allows them to get funds owed to an individual from a sheriff’s sale much faster than if the individual went through the process themselves . . . but you must pay them an often hefty upfront fee for the service.
I can assure you there is no “special access” or preferential treatment given any person making a claim on funds they feel are owed to them from a sheriff’s sale. The process is a simple one and generally not complicated if all the proper identification and paperwork is presented.
So, I encourage you to enjoy this holiday season, but also be wary of those who may be trying to become a Grinch to your good feelings by getting you to worry over something that is a lie, and pay to settle a problem that doesn’t even exist.