Debt collection scams are becoming more difficult for Americans to detect. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers consumers a few ways to recognize a real debt collector from a scammer.
According to the CFPB, the first thing you should ask the caller is for their name, company name, street address, telephone number and professional licensing number. The next thing you should do is tell the caller is that you refuse to discuss any debt until you receive a “validation notice” in writing, which debt collectors are required to provide. An important thing to keep in mind is do not give out any personal or financial information to the caller until you have confirmed it is a legitimate debt collector.
Below are a few warning signs that could indicate a debt collection scam:
- The caller threatens you with criminal charges. If the caller is a legitimate debt collector, they should not claim they will have you arrested.
- The caller refuses to give you information about your debt. You have the right to ask a debt collector about the debt.
- The caller is trying to collect a debt that you do not recognize. If you do not recognize the debt, this is a red flag, the caller might be involved in a scam.
- The caller refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number for the company.
- The caller asks you for sensitive personal financial information. Do not provide your financial or personal information unless you are certain the caller is legitimate.
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If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.