- Main article: Random encounters
Should a crime - or series of crimes - carry a long outstanding bounty within a particular hold, a bounty collector will intercept the Dragonborn on the roads of Skyrim. The bounty collector is a high-level guard who tries to arrest the Dragonborn, if they have a high bounty in a hold.
They are typically geared with full steel plate and enchanted weaponry; not to be taken lightly. He/She will approach and attempt to collect the bounty. If the player can't or won't pay, the bounty collector becomes hostile and attacks.
- Paying off the bounty will remove the criminal status within that hold and thus prevent further attacks or arrest attempts by the guards when a player is in that Hold. However if your bounty is high enough The Bounty Collector will not talk to collect the bounty instead He or She may immediately attack until the player is dead (this is unknown if it is a Bug or Scripted Combat).
- Results of payment may not be immediate due to the fact that the bounty collecter has to walk all the way to the jarl of the hold to deliver the bounty. Be wary of fast traveling to an associated city immediately after paying the bounty collector.
- It is possible to earn Crime Gold by dropping weapons in front of a Guard then refusing to pay his bribe. This will only add 10 gold, but still will cause the Bounty Hunter to find you.
- The bounty collector will attempt to collect a bounty that was already paid in an outlying city. (Such as a bounty in Whiterun Hold being paid while in Riverwood.)
- The dialogue options may say "Pay 0 Gold". This can also occur randomly if the player has no bounty and never been wanted in that hold.
- There may still be a bounty even after the Bounty Collector has been paid.
- The bounty collector may not show up at all, even though the Dragonborn has had a bounty for a long time.
- The bounty collector may not allow the option of payment, attacking immediately.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (First appearance)