How to tell the difference between a legitimate debt collector and scammers | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

When an account like a credit card, car loan, or cell call circular becomes past due, the original creditor may attempt to collect the sum owed. The creditor may besides hire a debt collector or sell the debt to person who may try to collect the debt. While there are many legitimate debt collectors in the fiscal marketplace, there are besides scammers who may try to get you to pay on debts that you don ’ triiodothyronine owe or on debts that don ’ t tied exist.

Warning signs of debt collection

information from you

A debt collector must tell you data such as the mention of the creditor, the sum owed, and that if you dispute the debt the debt collector will have to obtain confirmation of the debt. If the debt collector does not provide this information during the initial contact with you, they are required to send you a written notification within five days of that initial contact.

Pressures you to
pay by money transfer or prepaid card

Scammers like these payment methods because they may be untraceable, and it can be hard for you to get your money back .

Falsely threatens
you with jail time or poses as a government official

But beware, if you do owe criminal fines or restitution, it is possible that bankruptcy to pay may result in your check .

Says they will
tell your family, friends, and employer 

Some scammers may try to get you to pay by threatening to reveal your debts to syndicate, friends, coworkers, or employers. A debt collector is generally not allowed to tell other people about your debt without your license. They can alone ask others about your whereabouts to try and contact you .

You don’t
recognize the debt that the person claims you owe money for

Ask questions to make sure the debt is one that you owe. Any debt collector who contacts you claiming you owe requital on a debt is required by police to tell you certain information about the debt. That information must include :

  • The name of the creditor
  • The sum owed

If you believe you do not owe the debt or that it ‘s not even your debt, tell the caller that you will send a written request to the debt collector and ” dispute ” the debt. You can besides send a written request to the debt collector to receive more information about the debt .

Asks you for
sensitive personal financial information

such as your bank account, routing numbers, or Social Security numbers. You should never provide anyone with your personal fiscal information unless you are sure they ’ re legitimate. Scammers can use your information to commit identity larceny .

Calls you at
inconvenient times

debt collectors can not call you at an strange meter or place or at a time or identify they know is inconvenient to you. You might be dealing with a swindler if you are called before 8 ante meridiem or after 9 p.m .