Debt collection scams are on the rise. How can you tell if the person calling you is legitimate?
The following are some sure signs that the caller is a scam.
- He is threatening you with jail, or sending someone with a warrant, unless an immediate payment is made.
- The debt collector won’t identify himself: a legitimate collector will provide their name, address and telephone number.
- The debt collector doesn’t know your name and address. Unless you’ve recently moved, they don’t need to ask you for this.
- They claim to be working for the IRS. The IRS has many means of collecting taxes, but threatening people over the telephone isn’t something they do.
- They can’t identify the original creditor, or the debt is very old, or something you don’t believe you owe.
If you are not sure who the person calling you is, there are several things you can do:
- Hang up the phone.
- Ask them to send you written verification of the debt.
- If you think you might owe this debt, contact the creditor directly to make certain this collector is legitimate.
- Consult an Attorney
And there are some things you definitely should never do:
- Give them your name, address or social security number.
- Send money to anyone, without written confirmation of the amount of the debt, and terms which have been agreed upon.