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Three Major Signs a Debt Collection is Fake

Three Major Signs a Debt Collection is Fake


Scammers are continually coming up with new ways to trick consumers out of money. Fake debt collections is a scheme you could easily fall for, if you're not careful. Before you pay a collection you think you owe, use these three tips to be sure the collector isn't a fake.

They can’t tell you who the debt is from. All collection accounts have an origin, a company that you used to do business with. If the collector can’t tell you the name of this company (or you never did business with that company), the collector may not be legitimate.

Complaints on the internet say the company is a scammer. Get the name of the collection agency and plug it into a search engine to see if other people have dealt with this company. (If the collector won't give up their name, it's a definite red flag!) If other people complain that this collector pursued them for fake debts and the debt collector can’t name the company you owe, it’s an even stronger case for a fake collection agency.

They're collecting a debt you already paid. Any assumptions you have about previously paying the debt could be correct. Check your records: old bank statements and cancelled checks could show you already paid. Or maybe you have a final statement showing a zero balance or a paid in full letter. Proof that you’ve already paid will get the debt collector off your back for good.

What to Do If You Think a Collector is Fake

Don’t give out or verify any personal or payment information until you're sure you're dealing with a real collection agency. Instead, ask the debt collector for proof of the debt and their ability to collect on it. This is your legal right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You can make this debt validation request within 30 days of your initial contact from a debt collector. 

Your request for validation should be made in writing – just a simple letter requesting proof that you owe the debt is sufficient. The debt collector has to send you proof (there’s no specific timeframe for their response) that you owe the debt before they can continue collecting from you. And if the debt collector can’t produce they proof, they’re legally required to stop collection efforts.


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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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