We get calls all the time regarding debt collection scams. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done from a legal perspective. We can't file a lawsuit against a scam company since they don't really exist there is no one to sue. But there are still steps consumers can take to protect themselves from debt collection scams. Try the followings:
- Tell the debt collector you want a "validation notice" of the debt. The law requires debt collectors to provide validation notices in writing. The validation notice is required to include the amount of the debt, name of the creditor, and a statement of your rights. This will chase off most debt collection scams.
- Ask the debt collector for more information. Ask them for their name, the name of their company, the main office street address and phone number for their company and ask if are they licensed to collect debts in Florida.
- Do not ever give them any personal information, including bank accounts, credit card numbers, do not confirm your date of birth or social security number or address. If it is a legitimate debt collector they should already have the information they need on file.
- Always check your credit report. If you are part of a debt collection scam then it is worth it to check your credit reports to make sure nothing false or fraudulent is being reported.
- If the debt collection scammer has your personal information then you should place a fraud alert on your credit report. You should do this with all three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- My personal favorite, tell them you know they are a scam and hang up the phone. If you don't have any outstanding loans, hang up. Don't press any numbers or speak to an “agent.”
The most important thing you can do is to ask questions that help you figure out whether the debt collector calling you is part of a scam or works for a legitimate company. Asking questions, without giving them any personal information will usually chase the debt collection scams away quickly. Protect yourself and if you are being harassed by real debt collectors call Florida Consumer Lawyers today.