Scams are not great at the best of times – but to fall victim to a scam while you’re in debt may be very hard-hitting to you and your livelihood. Most of the debt collectors you come across will be legit, however, there are some nasty individuals out there that will take advantage of others – even in their time of need.

Someone participating in a debt collection scam may get in touch with you about some fictional debt.

They will then go on to threaten you with court action, a bad credit score and even asset seizure. In fear of these things, some people end up paying this debt even if it is not even real.

These criminals ‘phantom debts’, which basically is a word for debts that do not exist. However, they may try to collect other types of debts too. This includes no longer enforceable debts, so ensure all of the dates match up if a debt collector does get in touch with you.

Some Top Warning Signs Include:

  • Does not provide with concise details on their collection agency – its name, contact number, address and operating licence number – or provides you with false information. You can usually check these things easily online.
  • Suggests that you make a payment immediately through an untraceable method.
  • Requests that you provide sensitive information such as your credit card number (these can be used to commit more fraud against you)
  • Calls you repeatedly on the phone but won’t provide or accept anything in writing (genuine debt collectors can not repeatedly call you).

Although debt collection agencies may change their names or merge every so often, you should be able to find their accurate information online. If you catch someone attempting to commit fraud in the act call the authorities with immediate effect.

You can expect pure transparency from a genuine debt collector. Genuine debt collectors will have no problem in telling you information including the full name of their agency, contacts, details about the original creditor and so on. They will happily give you all of this information in writing.

Making sure you are up to speed on fraudulent activities will allow you to avoid falling victim to fraud in the future. We hope our top tips of the day allow you to feel more clued up!

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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