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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Debt Collection Scams

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Have you ever heard of debt collection scammers pretending to be debt collectors? If you receive calls from people who claim that you owe money on some old loans that you don’t recall, you are likely dealing with a debt collection scammer. If you are threatened with arrest for not paying off old debts immediately or are threatened that a legal complaint will be filed against you, you are likely dealing with a debt collection scammer. It is important for you to know who they are and how to deal with them. Debt collection scammers may try to steal your identity and ultimately gain money from you. Thousands of people in the United States fall into this trap and lose their money every year. Most of the time, it is hard to seek retribution from debt collection scammers because they generally hide their identity, operate virtually, and are nowhere to be found.

How to Spot Them?

First, you should be aware of your debts and the names of creditors in your credit report. You can easily spot scammers when you know who your creditors are and what debts you owe. Secondly, you should know your debt collection rights under the law and what debt collectors are prohibited from doing. You would then know that a legitimate debt collector cannot use abusive and threatening tactics to try to get you to pay your debt. Legitimate debt collectors will disclose their full information as is required, including their name, address, email, etc., and they will also have access to your personal information because you owe them money.

On the other hand, scammers won’t disclose their identifying information. They will typically use vague language and try to intimidate you. In addition, these scammers only intend to scare you with their threats of arrest, and legal notice, in hopes that you will pay them money out of fear.

What do you need to do?

When you receive such calls, inquire about their identity. The creditor’s name, company’s name, address, etc. Real debt collectors will always disclose this information. Sometimes scammers pretend to be a real company. A simple phone call or email to the company will help you verify if there is, in fact, any debt that you owe. Never give collectors your information, such as your: name, address, bank account number, date of birth, or social security number.

Legitimate debt collectors should already have access to this information. Never tell them how much money you owe and to whom you owe the money. However, asking them these questions can be a good litmus test to verify if they are legitimate or not. Ask them to send certified mail verifying your debt. Never make payments to them in fear without confirming whether you actually owe them money or not. Know that you cannot be arrested if you don’t pay a loan. Debt collection is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Protect Yourself

Don’t fall for their trap. Don’t respond to them, and be sure to file a complaint if they threaten you. If they are a legitimate company, they won’t harass you. Even if they are real debt collectors, you should know your debt collection rights and that you can sue them under the law for indulging in prohibited activity as a debt collector.

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