Collection Scam Tactics

When you have collection
agencies contacting you
, it is often a scary and overwhelming
experience, Justice _scaleforcing you to let your guard down
and not think as clearly.  Collection agencies use your
emotions and vulnerability to force you into making payment on
debts that may either be illegitimate or inflated.  Collection
agencies often provide you with little information about the debt
and hound you until payment is made.   Far too often,
consumers end up paying for debts they never actually owed. 
Over the past several years with the rapidly failing economy, there
has been an increased number of scams using false
collection claims
in order to receive payment from vulnerable
consumers.  Considering how many payments the average consumer
makes per month and how much debt the average consumer carries, it
is no surprise that scamming a consumer into making payment
actually works.

In most instances debt collection scams begin with a simple
phone call.  The caller will sound intimidating and serious in
an effort to direct the conversation.  Often times the
collector will make up a name of the company he or she works for
and will continue to contact you until payment is made or a request
for verification of the debt is received.  Most of the time,
because consumers are intimidated, they make payment over the phone
instead of following their instincts and
requesting validation
prior to agreeing to pay on a debt they
don’t believe is theirs. 

In order to prevent being taken advantage of by these scam
collection agencies, it is important to know your rights so that
you are not coerced into making payment and can adequately
represent yourself.  While the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”) is there to protect you,
after the damage is done, filing a lawsuit against these fictitious
collection agencies is next to impossible—they cannot be located
and the reality is they do not really exist.  The most
important step to take is to always ask for additional
information.  Good questions to ask the collector for are
proof of the debt in writing, ask for the collector’s name and
address, ask to only be contacted in writing.  You can also
request a telephone number for you to contact the collector
directly.  Request written documentation from the original
creditor regarding the debt, including any previous payments you
may have made.  Never, never, never make a payment over the
phone or set up automatic withdrawals from your account without
first having written proof of the legitimacy of the debt. 

Read some of our previous articles dealing with scam collectors
including Phony
Debt Collectors
and What Do I Do

Lastly, there is no harm in asking for help.  If you are
not sure about your rights contact an attorney.  The FDCPA was
enacted specifically to protect consumers like you from scam
collectors.  If you are being contacted by a debt collector
and are unsure of your rights or simply need additional
information, contact SmithMarco P.C. for
a free case review.