A recent report from the Better Business Bureau indicates that debt collection scams have risen by 84% in recent years. There have been over 900 complaints from consumers just this year alone.; the number being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission is likely to be much higher. Not only are the number of scams rising, but there is also a shift in the type of scam being used.
Consumers are encouraged to educate themselves about what to look for, here are some common signs a collection call could be a scam:
- Collector is vague or withholding of the creditor/account holder they represent
- Collector refuses to provide their own contact information
- Collector asks for your banking or financial information
- Collector uses high pressure or intimidation to obtain your information
Although learning the immediate red flags of a debt collection scam are helpful, it is also important to know how to handle such calls.
First, don’t give the collector any personal or financial information.
Second, ask for their contact information and request a letter of verification of the debt. You have 30 days from the time of receipt of the verification letter to take action.
Third, Contact your creditor or account holder directly to discuss your debt account.
Last, contact the BBB or FTC to report any violation or suspicious collection activity. If you are having trouble negotiating your debts with your creditor, contact a Tampa bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options for debt relief.