Is this Debt Collector Legitimate?

Calls from debt collectors are worrisome, especially if the collection agency or law firm collector is unfamiliar to you. They may tell you misleading or false information about what you owe and what will happen if you don’t pay. But not all calls from debt collectors are the real deal. Here are a few signs that may indicate that the collector isn’t legitimate. 

You Don’t Recognize the Debt

If the debt in question is completely unfamiliar to you, it could be a scam. Ask that the collector provide validation of the debt and a detailed itemization of any amount they claim owed. 

If you don’t recognize the collection firm, keep in mind that creditors will often assign past due balance collection to a collection agency or law firm collector. You may begin to receive collection calls or letters demanding payment from this third party collector years after default.

They Won’t Give You Any Details

If you think the caller may be a fake collector, ask for his or her name, company name, address, and telephone number. A caller who won’t provide any of this information is worthy of suspicion. 

They Threaten You

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are not permitted to threaten you. If they threaten arrest or a lawsuit, they may not be legitimate. Contact a qualified debt collection lawyer to discuss your rights.

They Ask for Personal Information

Never give your personal identifying information, such as social security number and bank account numbers, over the phone. Request that the collector send you details of the debt and confirmation that they are able to collect it. If you do not like the way you’ve been treated by the collector, you may write and request they Cease & Desist all contact with you.