It’s quite simple to spot a con scamster attempting to collect a debt you’re certain you don’t owe. However, if you have a bill that is past due, it may be difficult to tell the difference between genuine debt collectors and scammers. This is because con artists have been known to get consumers’ personal information through a variety of methods before forcing them to make payments over the phone. Fortunately, if you pay attention to a few simple details, you can avoid being conned by debt collectors.

Simply because a debt collector contacts you on social media does not guarantee he or she is a phony. Debt collectors may approach debtors using their personal phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Unjustified Harassment and Abuse

While some legal debt collectors may engage in unethical collection techniques, a scammer has no incentive to stop from employing obscene threats and abusive language.
They can threaten to file a lawsuit against you right away, or that you’ll be arrested soon.
Keep in mind that legitimate debt collectors are bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), whereas fraudsters are not.

Immediate Payment Requirement

Genuine debt collectors frequently drive debtors into paying their debts because this has a negative impact on their wages.
Scam debt collectors, on the other hand, go above and beyond the standard pressure tactics, frequently scaring victims into making payments right away, giving them little or no time to think.

It’s almost certainly a fraud if a debt collector insists on getting money by wire transfer and doesn’t give any other options.
Genuine debt collectors take payments in a variety of ways, including online and over the phone.

Unrecognized Creditor or Account

It’s reason enough to be suspicious if a debt collector calls you about a debt you don’t recall or if the creditor is unfamiliar.
You have the right to request proof of the debt in the form of debt validation in any such situation before making any payment.
You can also check your credit report for the debt you’re looking for.
Credit-related entries older than seven years, on the other hand, are usually wiped away.

Inquiring for information that they should have

When debt collectors take over your debts, creditors provide them with new information on you.
Your full name, date of birth, account number, phone number, address, and all or part of your Social Security Number are all included.
Consider it a red signal if a debt collector requests for any of this information.
This is because it could be a phishing attempt, which could result in fraud and possibly identity theft.

They don't provide any contact information.

When a debt collector calls, ask for the name and contact information of the debt collecting agency.
This information will be readily available from a legitimate debt collector.
If a debt collector, on the other hand, refuses to share this information, it’s as big a red signal as any.
Even if a debt collector offers this information, you should double-check its accuracy by conducting an online search.

What Else Should You Do?

Don’t forget to follow these actions if you are approached by a debt collector.

  1. Insist on knowing the caller’s name, the collection agency’s name, their phone number, their address, and their professional license number.
  2. Insist on receiving a written debt validation notice.
    This must be sent within five days of the collector’s initial contact.
  3. Check three main credit reports – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – for the debt.
  4. Use the caller’s phone number to conduct an online search.
    You can come across accusations about it being associated with a fraud agency.

If you believe you are being harassed by a persistent fraudulent debt collector, you should get help from professionals that specialize in debt validation.
This way, you may rest assured that you’ve covered all of your bases.