Posted Thursday, September 02, 2010 in
Recently several local consumers have notified BBB about phone calls from individuals pretending to be debt collectors and threatening them with legal action or arrest. The consumers are told they must pay a supposed outstanding debt over the phone immediately. In some cases, the callers have social security numbers, bank information and the consumer’s address. BBB wants you to know what to do if a stranger calls claiming you owe them money.
4 Tips to Help You Fight Debt Collection Scams:
1) Ask Questions About the Debt. If the caller cannot tell you who they work for, the business who hired them to collect the debt, what the actual debt is from or how much you owe, these are signs the caller may be trying to scam you.
2) Request Written Proof. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act requires a debt collector to give you a validation notice within 5 days of contacting you about a debt. Ask the caller for this and also tell them to stop contacting you. By law, they have to stop until they can provide written proof that your debt is real.
3) Don’t Give or Confirm Personal Information. Sometimes the purpose of a phony debt collection scam is to steal your identity or your money. Until the caller can send you written proof, never give them your personal information.
You can file a complaint online at www.centraltx.bbb.org if you believe a scammer has contacted you to collect a phony debt. Make sure to include all the details so that we can help spread the word to protect others.
4) Tell BBB.
Have you run across a scam? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest trends, tips and to let us know if you have any topics you want BBB to address.