Skip to navigation

Signs a Debt Collector May Be Scamming You

Michael Rapp Jan. 27, 2015

The phone rings. The caller on the other end informs you that you owe a given amount of debt, and request payment immediately. The callers may even threaten consumers that legal action will be taken if the debt is not paid. For many consumers, these unnerving phone calls may seem legitimate, especially if they have been contacted by real debt collectors in the past. The possibility that the call is a scam may not even cross their mind.

Con artists have gotten so proficient at convincing victims that they are real debt collectors that it can be very difficult to distinguish the difference. Fortunately, there are many ways to detect a debt collection scam.

Ask Questions about the Caller and his/her Company:

If in doubt whether a debt collection call is a scam, the first thing that consumers should do is fact check. Ask the caller his or her name, position at the company, and information about the company itself (location, website, etc.). If the caller provides bogus information, or refuses to provide any information at all, it is most likely a scam.

If the caller provides the information requested, ask if you can speak to their manager. If he or she refuses, it may be sign that the caller is an independent con artist trying to scam you.

Threats/Aggressive Language

If the debt collector repeatedly uses threatening and aggressive language, it may be a sign that the caller is scamming you. Examples include the caller threatening to sue you if you do not pay immediately.

Limited Payment Options

Another way to tell if you are a victim of a debt collection scam is if the caller gives you only one method of payment as an option. Almost all legitimate debt collection agencies will accept multiple forms of payment. If the caller requests that you pay immediately over the phone, or otherwise limits your payment options, a red flag should be raised.

Requests to Pay Debts for Purchases You Never Made

One of the more obvious telltale signs of a debt collection scam is if the collector requests you pay for a purchase that you have no recollection of making. If you double check with your bank, and they have no record of you making the purchase, you are more than likely being scammed.

If you are constantly being hounded by debt collectors for debts you do not owe, or by con artists claiming to be debt collectors, it is best to contact a consumer lawyerfor legal advice.