Today we have a guest post from Frank McCourt on avoiding debt collection scams. My friend just got a call from one of these con-men so this is very timely. Keep on guard!
minding your own business when your phone rings. It seems to be a debt
collector. The collector tells you that you are in debt and you need to pay
fast or face some serious legal action. But wait, you don’t remember taking out
any loans, what is this person even talking about?
You have just fallen victim to a debt collection scam. Each year
thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent debt collectors. This scam comes
in a number of different ways, but the most common aspect is that the consumer
is in debt and needs to pay it right then or there will be repercussion.
These crooks will use any means necessary to get into your wallet, using
manipulation and fear tactics to set you into a state of panic, where you are
more prone to giving in. They don’t stop there either, it has been noted that
they even use phishing scams in order to gain your personal information. For
instance, they will call your house, leave a voice mail telling you to call
them back, and then when you do, there will be an automated system asking for
you to enter your social security number, leaving you to be a victim of
How do you go about avoiding these situations? First off, always ask the
debt collector to provide official legal documents that prove you have this
debt as well as their name, company, street address, and phone number. Never
provide them with any information regarding the debt, including credit card
numbers, bank account numbers, or any other personal information until you know
for sure the person you are talking to is a legitimate representative of a debt
collection agency. If you did accidently let something slip, contact your bank immediately.
Remember that there are Federal telemarketing laws set in place, and a rude
collector would be in violation of these laws if they were to be abusive. If it
turns out to be a legitimate debt collector and they are abusive, file a
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re concerned that the debt
may actually be legitimate, contact your creditor, they will be able to tell
you who the creditor authorized to collect the debt. If they keep badgering
you, try to get their address and send them a letter demanding that they stop
Real debt collectors have to stop calling you if ask them to do so in
writing, if you do end up doing this, keep a copy of the letter for your own
records. Last but not least, report the call to your Attorney General’s office,
they can help determine your rights under your states law. Fraud.org and the FTC are also good places to
report fraudulent activity.
Remember that even if you are in debt, you shouldn’t let debt collectors
walk all over you. Collectors have strict guidelines must follow and will be
imposed penalties for any violations. If you do need help with
debt, there are several organizations out there that can help you.
About the Author: After almost getting caught in a Wellsfargo bank scam
a few years back, Frank McCourt made it his mission to familiarize himself all
of the scams that con-men might ambush him with. He’s happy to say that the
only organization stealing his money is the company that holds his student
loans. And that is entirely legal.