In this day and age, it is so simple for anyone to gain access to your personal information. Information such as your full name, address, birthdate, and phone numbers are requested and sometimes published on your Facebook account. Even a simple google search can help you locate a lot of information listed on a random website you didn’t even know existed such as Spokeo, White Pages, etc.
With access to this information, fake “creditors” may use this and take advantage of unsuspecting people. Scam artists will use the information they have available to pass off as legitimate creditors. These so-called collection agencies can threaten you, harass you and make you believe you really owe a debt to them. In reality, they are taking you, and your wallet for a ride. If you decide to pay them and offer your debit card information to them, you may lose a lot more than what you bargained for.
It is important to review your credit frequently and know which debts you own. The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) grants you the right to request proof of the debt in writing which will allow you to review the debt and confirm if it is really yours. Compare the information they send to you, if any, with a copy of your credit report. The US government gives you access to one free credit report from each credit bureau each year (www.annualcreditreport.com).
Before you do any business with a collection agency over the phone, do your research. Speak to a trusted FDCPA attorney and have them review your debt. A little extra work on your behalf may just save you and your money in the long run.