http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDzK6dKOiZU&rel=0

Debt collection scams pose a serious threat to consumers. In today’s episode of Scambook TV, Kevan offers several warning signs to help you watch out for fake collection agencies. He also describes 4 safety tips to follow if you think you’re being harassed by a scammer.

First, Kevan describes a common tactic used by fake debt collectors. Second, he suggests five questions to ask yourself about the debt collection phone call, which you can use to determine if you think you’re being targeted. Then, he recommends a few actions you can take to protect yourself and help law enforcement. Don’t get scammed into paying a debt you don’t owe!

Here’s how these scams usually happen. You get a phone call from someone who claims to represent a debt collection agency. The caller may sound very professional and use the name of a fictitious, yet official-sounding financial institution, such as “Check Solution Services.” They tell you that you’re past due on your latest loan payment, or there was a problem processing the payment, so you need to send the money again.

 

To Make Sure You’re Not Being Scammed, Ask Yourself…

Do you remember this loan? Is this a loan you know you’ve already paid off?

Is the caller asking you for personal information, such as your Social Security Number or bank account routing number?

Do they want you to send the payment via money transfer, such as Western Union?

Are they bullying you with threats of jail time, legal actions or even physical violence?

 

If The Answer Is Yes…

If you’ve answered any of these questions with a “yes,” be very careful! You might be dealing with a scammer. Obviously, you should hang up the phone. But if you continue to be harassed, consider the following safety tips:

Tip #1. Don’t give the caller any personal information. Even if they’re pressuring you with legal actions or arrest, you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that protect you from threats and you don’t have to give out any personal information over the phone.

Tip #2. Get information from the caller, such as their name, the name of their supervisor, the location they’re calling from, and their phone number. This information will be helpful if you need to contact law enforcement or pursue legal action to protect yourself.

Tip #3. Check your finances independently. Review your bills to find out if you’re behind on any payments, and if you have any loans, contact your creditor on your own. Your financial institution will be able to review your records, provide information about your current balance and any payments owed, and find out if one of their representatives has been trying to reach you.

Tip #4. Report the call! You can file a complaint on Scambook or report the call to the FTC or your State Attorney General.

If the caller is threatening you or your family with physical violence, call the police right away.

 

Know Your Rights as a Debtor

Remember, even if you’ve fallen behind on your payments, you still have rights that protect you. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits debt collectors from harassing you.

The FTC declares that it’s illegal for a debt collector to do any of the following:

 

  • Use obscene language, threaten you, or publish your name on a delinquency list.
  • Fake false statements about their identity (such as claiming to be a government official) or lie about the amount you owe.
  • Tell you that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay your debt.

For a complete list of rules and regulations that govern debt collection agency, check out the FTC’s page here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection

Trust your instincts and don’t get scammed by a fake debt collector. Be very careful with your personal information and don’t send money to anyone who seems suspicious.

 

What Do You Think?

Have you ever encountered debt collection fraud? How did you deal with the situation? Share your experience in the comments below.

 

See Also

Debt Collectors Break Rules by Impersonating Lawyers, Texting Victims
Enhanced Recovery Company, T-Mobile Debt Collection Agency, May Send False Bills
Consumer Victory: FTC Busts World’s Biggest Debt Collector

Article sources

FTC.gov

Image sources

Pixabay

About The Author

Miranda Perry is the staff writer for Scambook.com, where she blogs about consumer issues, fraud and cyber security. She hopes to inspire readers to think critically about the world around them and take action to improve their lives.

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7 Responses

  1. kris4christ2

    Great video. Sadly, all the debt collectors calling me are real 🙁 lol. Though after not paying for so long, a few of them offer a Really LOW Settlement Offer which I take advantage of!

    Reply
  2. Rebecca

    My son has been harresed for a long time by people telling him he is being sued by a company bla-bla-bla. I told him to call their bluff. This one time they said there was a warrent out for him and he would be arrested so he tells them to bring it on, Im sitting in the parking lot of McDonald’s just waiting for them. His only answer was “Are u getting smart with me?” to which my son answered , hell yes so what are u going to do about it? The caller hung up.
    Of course this is a new year and they have started again.

    Reply
    • CG

      To stop harassing calls/letters, you son needs to send the company doing this a letter of Cease & Desist. Google it for more details. It really helped me out!

      Reply
  3. Edward Degner

    phone call saying my payments on ameriloan were declined i called ameriloan my loans been pain if full

    this phone calls from supposedly a attorney named Chris Noriega phone numbers 916 243 5985
    hes threated to have me arrested
    cant explain in full details any questions i ask him
    theses sickos need to be stopped
    any help you can get or give
    Be VERY MUCH Appreciated
    Thanks Edward

    Reply
    • Bryce

      lol…. freudian slip there Edward? Your loans have been “pain” in full…

      As per CG’s reply above….

      “To stop harassing calls/letters, you son needs to send the company doing this a letter of Cease & Desist. Google it for more details. It really helped me out!”

      You could also get a “lawyer” to call Mr Noriega and “warn” him not to call you again.

      Or you could just start calling him at 3 am “Oh, is this an inconvenient time for an unsolicited call?”

      Use your imagination and you can get him curled up in the foetal position in a corner sucking his thumb.

      Good luck

      Reply
  4. Linda

    I really like this. Thanks so much. I was scammed from Sunset Publication. Hopefully the law puts them in jail.

    Reply
  5. Tanvi

    I have been receiving debt collection letters from past 3 years from all different debt collecting agency regarding a debt I owe to O2. I did sign a contract with O2 which was then transfer to some other person with all his details and I had no name on the contract thereafter. Hence, I do not wish to pay for someone else. This person no longer lives in this country. Can you please advice me on this?
    Thanks

    Reply

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