While creditor harassment is a big issue in the U.S. scams are also a source of strife among those in this country. In fact, debt collector scams are said to be one of the most common types. It is bad enough to be harassed about a debt that one owes, but even worse when the debt does not even exist. So what can those living in Florida do to avoid debt collection scams?
First, it is important to understand what a debt collection scam is and how it is done. A person may receive a call in which the caller demands payment on a loan or debt that the consumer does not remember. The caller may also claim that he or she is calling to collect on a cash advance loan. The call may escalate to the point of threats, with the caller claiming that if the person does not pay, he or she will be arrested, have his or her wages garnished or be sued.
There are a few steps that can be taken to avoid being scammed in these situations. The first and best defense is to hang up the phone. If someone is not sure whether or not the debt is real, he or she should ask for the company name, address and a phone number. An official notice validating the claim is also a good idea. No personal information should be given in these cases.
Once the phone call has ended, it is a good idea for the person to check his or her credit report. If the caller seemed to have a lot of personal information, it may be a good idea for the victim to put a fraud alert on his or her credit report. If the caller spoke in a threatening manner, this violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and a complaint should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.
People can also contact their creditors if they feel that a call may not be legitimate. In Florida, a bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help in cases where a person’s debt has become overwhelming and he or she is being harassed by creditors. Even in cases where the debt is actually owed, there are laws against harassment and threatening debt collector practices.
Source: mydaytondailynews.com, “Scam: Better Business Bureau tips on debt collection scams“, John North, June 21, 2017