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Scam targeted parents on both sides of child support

When it comes to transferring funds from one divorced parent to the other, many Colorado residents encounter a degree of difficulty. Whether it is due to a severely damaged relationship between the parties or a simple wish to avoid direct communications, many divorced parents choose to outsource the actual exchange of child support payments to a third party. In some cases, both sides could be taken advantage of by scam artists intent on skimming a profit from monies intended to cover the costs of raising a child.

A recent court sentencing illustrates how these scams sometimes work. Two men set up companies offering "child support services" to assist custodial parents in the collection of unpaid child support. When parents contacted the businesses, they were asked to provide a large volume of information about the other parent, including his or her employment history.

From that point, the scammers began contacting the non-custodial parent, sometimes at his or her place of employment. Threats were made with increasing levels of severity, and some parents were told (falsely) that their driving privilege had been suspended, or even that an arrest warrant was pending. When some of those parents made payments, the businesses collected a fee of nearly 30 percent of the total payment.

In the end, while the scammers were able to extract payment from some of the individuals contacted, the actual amount turned over to the custodial parent was significantly less than what was owed. In the last hearing in the matter, the two men running this scam were sentenced to over a year in prison for their roles in conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. The case serves as a warning to all Colorado parents to be wary of any non-government entity offering child support collection services.

Source: Local12.com, "Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Child Support Scam", Howard Ain, Sept. 9, 2014

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