News & Resources

Be wary of debt collection schemes

Feb 21, 2011 Kyle Duncan

One of the popular scams taking place today in the United States is fraudulent debt collection. People are often called by a collection agency and told that they need to settle a debt, despite the fact that it may or may not exist. In a recent column for MarketWatch, personal finance expert Jennifer Waters writes that people have been hit by scammers posing as debt collectors and can even present the targets with personal information that will make them sound legitimate. "Consumer and government agencies have issued warnings about debt-collection scams that have proliferated over the last year," she wrote for the news source. "The callers know much of your personal information — sometimes even your Social Security number — and are relentless in their pursuit for your money." Waters writes that in order to make sure that the person seeking the debt is legitimate, the collector must provide written proof. If the person refuses to send a written missive, targets are advised to contact their attorney general. If a debt is being legitimately collected, there are other things to think about. In an interview with the Bixby Bulletin, Bill Bartmann, who runs a debt collection company, said that people should find out whether the debt is being pursued by an in-house agency or a third-party firm.