by Structured Settlement Watchdog
A short payment scam begins when a buyer of structured settlement payment rights sends letters, emails or texts a structured settlement annuitant and tells them that they have been short changed. The solicitation is designed to create a disturbing thought, instill fear, to induce a call from the recipient to a toll-free number for more details about how the sender of the letter can help them get what they should've got. Invariably, this involves selling more payments and eroding more financial security.
Word salad is the order of the day and it's made to look official, citing IRC 5891, the federal tax code section that imposes an excise tax on the structured settlement payment buyer if certain conditions are not satisfied.
I received two calls this morning from a Greenville, SC woman who says she received such a communication. She has a structured settlement that was just established in 2021. I have informed the Greenville SC police department.
Avoid Short Payment Scams and Other Phishing Chicanery
- You do not have to register your structured settlement anywhere.
- Solicitations from fake entities such as a "structured settlement registry", "structured settlement accounting department" are frauds. Ignore them.
- It seems like common sense but, don't engage with an entity that sounds like a restaurant chain or a food group, (e.g. Joe's Chicken Shack LLC, Dos Nachos)
- Shy away from a company whose website has just a contact form and no address.
- Shy away from companies that use a P.O. Box as their primary address.
- Always seek independent professional advice.