Spotting Fake Debt Collectors
Often we receive phone calls from numbers we don’t recognize. Though you may have the thought to ignore the call, sometimes you answer out of curiosity to see who the call can be from or what the call could be about. After answering the call, you are greeted by a person claiming to be calling from a debt collections agency. According to your caller, their only goal is to collect on a debt that you owe.
The caller encourages you to provide your payment info over the phone to clear your debt instantly. Unfortunately, you are unsure whether the caller is truthfully calling from a debt collections agency or if the person is trying to scam you into giving over your personal information for their own gain. Debt collector scams are prevalent across the country. Reports have shown over 400,000 complaints made about debt collections concerning scams.
Common complaints from consumers include:
- Complaining about debts showing on their credit report without or before being given a written notice.
- Borrowers receiving calls from collectors when previously requesting not to be contacted via the phone.
- Being called at inappropriate hours of the day.
- Borrowers not being given full information about owed debt.
What You Can Do When You Receive a Call from a Collector
Scam calls are at large in the world and no one wants or deserves to be a victim of such a crime. Here are some suggestions regarding how you can pay off debt owed all while avoiding being scammed by false collection agencies.
- Avoid Paying Your Debt by Phone
Sometimes paying a debt over the phone is unavoidable. When the odds are in your favor you can clear your debt by providing your payment information through an online secure website. If this option is not available to you, take the time to research said debt collections agency. A debt collections agency that is truthful in who they are will not mind giving you time to check out the company’s business credentials to verify their existence and legitimacy.
If your situation is unique, waiting may cause you to miss your payment deadline, but in most cases the collector should be able to wait at least three days to a week to collect your payment. Once you have verified the company, you have the choice whether to make your payment over the phone or not. The benefit of paying online will ensure that you receive a receipt for your transaction. When paying over the phone, it is encouraged that you request for the debt collector to send you proof of your payment as soon as possible, showing that your debt is clear.
- Proof of Debt
It is your given right to request proof that shows that the debt belongs to you. The proof should always be shown to you in writing. Even if you know that the debt is yours to pay, the collector should present full documentation to you concerning the amount that is owed.
As required by law, debt collectors can not hold this information from you. You have the right to request information that details in writing how much you owe, how long you have had the debt, where the debt originated from and proof that the collections agency has the authority to receive money from you.
- What is the Name of the Collections Agency
Legitimate collections agencies should be licensed to receive money from you for owed debts. It is imperative that you verify that the agency is licensed before making any payments. There are companies that you can go through to verify the legitimacy of collections agencies. You can also search via the web to uncover this information.
When doing your research, you should be able to solidify whether the company is licensed and recognized as a legitimate debt collector. You can search online to find out where the company’s headquarters is based. Once you find out where the headquarters is located, you can further uncover the truth of the company by conducting an inspection with the state government to verify the company’s license for collecting debts.
Even though this could take some additional days to complete, you could save a lot of money that could possibly be untruthfully taken from you by a potential scam artist.
BMG Money is a short-term lending solution, done via your employer. We understand that hardships may arise, and if you’re seeking debt consolidation before your debt is sent to collection, we encourage you to learn more about whether our program is right for you. You may also want to read more about debt, and credit in general, using our credit resource page.