Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Is That Really a Debt Collector on the Phone?

How it Works:

A debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. It could be a collection agency, a lawyer, or a company that buys delinquent debts and then tries to collect them. On the other hand, it could be a fake debt collector! Armed with sensitive information he coaxes from you, the criminal could charge your credit cards or open new accounts, take out loans in your name, write fraudulent checks and more.

What You Should Know:

A debt collector might be a fake if the person is trying to collect on a loan you don’t recognize, refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number, asks you for sensitive information, or uses threats to try to scare you into paying.

What You Should Do:

Tell the caller you refuse to discuss the debt unless you receive a written notice that includes the debt amount, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Don’t give the caller sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information unless you know whom you’re talking to. This includes your bank account number, credit card, or Social Security number.

If the debt is legitimate, but you think the collector may be a fake, contact your creditor about the calls.

If you get a call like this, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and warn others on the Fraud Watch Network Scam-tracking map.

Report calls to the FTC here

Warn others of scams by clicking here

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