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. (813) 940-5120