Discovering you owe a debt from a collection agency can be overwhelming and unpleasant, as you may not remember the debt in question. However, before you give any funds to the collector, it’s essential to verify the validity of the debt. Unfortunately, many debt collection scams are floating around to steal your hard-earned money. The following blog explores how these scams work, what the signs are, and how to proceed if you believe you’ve been scammed. You’ll also discover how a California debt collection harassment lawyer can help you protect yourself.
What Are Debt Collection Scams?
In some instances, some collection agencies or individuals posing as debt collectors will contact you, claiming you owe them money. This communication is often over the phone, but they may also text, email, or send letters. The debt in question may be one that’s been paid off, discharged, or past the collection limitation. In other cases, the debt may not exist at all.
What Are the Most Common Signs of a Scam?
When you are contacted by debt collectors, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to validate the debt in question, even if you have no reason to believe this is a scam. You’ll want to for a debt validation letter. This contains details about the debt to ensure it belongs to you.
If the collector refuses to send it and instead pressures or threatens you in any way, this is likely a scam. This is because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires collectors to send a letter within five days of the first time they contact you about an alleged debt.
Additionally, if the collector asks for information about you, this is likely a scam. This is because the agency should have information like your date of birth, full name, address, and social security number on file. Similarly, you should ask for details about the company, such as their business name, where they are located, and who you are speaking to. If you have any doubts about the validity of the call, you can send this information to the company to confirm. If the collector does not give you this information or a quick internet search informs you that this company doesn’t exist, it is likely a scam.
What Should I Do if I Think I’m a Victim?
If you believe you are a victim of a debt collection scam, knowing how to proceed is crucial. The first thing you should do is contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your account. If the scammer has your sensitive information, they can open accounts in your name. By contacting one agency, they will alert the others.
Finally, you’ll want to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Loker Law, APC, our dedicated team understands how upsetting it can be to discover you may be the victim of a scam. As such, we will do everything possible to help you receive justice. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.