Being behind on your bills can result in an onslaught of collections calls. While there are laws that regulate the behavior of credit collection agencies, even those agencies that obey the rules can be aggressive and annoying. When you fall behind, collection agencies hired by your credit card, bank or loan companies can contact as often as they wish; there are no limits to the number of phone calls. There are limitations on the time of day, however; they must contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m and never at your workplace.
As irritating as legitimate collection agencies can be, instances of fake debt collectors are on the rise. These agencies prey on people who are in financial trouble by using legitimate information about your debts obtained through illegal means. You make your private credit information vulnerable any time personal information, such as your Social Security number, is given out. Once these fake debt collectors have access to your credit report, they lend credibility to themselves by stating the correct name and exact amounts of your debts. It's vital that you know what to look out for, so read on for tips on spotting these fake debt collectors that could steal your money instead of collecting your debts.
Signs you are being scammed by a fake debt collector:
- The caller threatens to have you arrested. With the exception of money owed for child support or taxes, federal law states that you will not go to jail for owing money. This threatening scare tactic can be accompanied by rudeness, cursing, and insults; most legitimate collection agencies would not resort to such unprofessional behavior.
- The caller will only accept payment that same day. Normally, collection agencies will work with you to come up with a plan to help you get caught up.
- The caller only offers limited forms of payment, usually wire transfer or credit card payment over the phone.
- The contact information given to you for the collection agency is limited to just a phone number, which likely will be a personal cell phone number if researched. Legitimate agencies have web sites and physical addresses. Contact your creditor directly to confirm the name and contact information for the legitimate collection agency handling your case.
Use these tips to help ensure that you are actually paying off your debt and not having your money stolen by a fake debt collection agency. If you are behind on your bills and are facing foreclosure and constant collection activity, contact a professional bankruptcy attorney, like Michael D Hart PC, for information about making a financial fresh start.