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Debt collectors finding new ways to track targets

Dec 22, 2010 Kyle Duncan

In the past, individuals skirting their debt responsibilities could have avoided collectors simply by not answering the phone or opening the front door to a collector. However, debt collectors are becoming craftier when it comes to finding people, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. One new way debt collectors find their targets is through social media. Facebook, Twitter and others provide collection agents with a modern method of identity authentication. It may not appear fair to the individual, but the method is entirely legal, writes Erica Sandberg for the Chronicle. Facebook offers a pool of background screening information. One's profile may supply a name, birthday, location and employment history. Combine those elements with any status updates that offer insight into behavior patterns and it will not be hard for a collector track a person, Sandberg continues. In fact, collectors may go as far as to write on a person's page, as was the case in November when a St. Petersburg, Florida, woman claimed a debt collector harassed her on her Facebook page. In this instance, a collector posted an aggressive message demanding she pay $362 in unpaid car loans, the Associated Press reported.