Posted on: 2 February 2016
If you've fallen behind on your bills, you are likely experiencing the relentless pursuit of past-due amounts by your creditors and collection agencies. These agencies can be extremely aggressive, since they only get paid if they collect some money from you. Even collection agencies that follow the rules can make your life miserable, leading you to consider bankruptcy as a solution. If your financial difficulties have led to collections calls, you may also be vulnerable to fake debt collectors. Read on to learn more about protecting yourself from these predators.
Why Am I Vulnerable?
A poor financial situation can open the door to these criminal elements who prey on those who are desperate, stressed out and confused. Fake debt collectors are incredibly savvy at accessing just enough actual information and details to lend them a look of legitimacy. They seem to know who you owe and what you owe, information that you would assume to be only accessible to actual collection agencies. These crooks can access your credit report and certain debts through the black market or through their employment access.
Protect Yourself By Watching for These Signs:
1. You are threatened with immediate punitive action for debts not paid right away. You should keep in mind that you cannot be arrested and jailed for past due debts. Only the I.R.S. can send you to jail for debt, and you are normally notified in writing about your tax debts, never by phone. It should be noted that past due child support can also result in jail time, but again you will be notified by letter about this debt.
2. You are told that you must pay only in certain forms of non-traditional payment, such as a wire transfer or money orders. This red flag indicates that the payments to this collector cannot be traced back to the recipient.
3. You are given sketchy contact information. For example, if you attempt to call an agency back, and your phone call is answered by the exact individual from an earlier phone call, then you likely have a single person with a cell phone scamming you instead of a real collections company. A quick phone call to the owner of the original debt will confirm the name and contact information for any legitimate agency.
4. You are victimized with threats, cursing and generally unprofessional behavior during your interactions. Real collection agencies can be very demanding and relentless, but they are normally professional and polite as well.
For those undergoing financial problems, calls from collections agencies of any kind can be distressing. You may even be in danger of losing your car or home. Contact a bankruptcy attorney or click to find out more about how to put collection calls to a stop and begin to plan your new financial future.Share