News & Resources

Fake collector calls hurt business

Apr 27, 2012 Philip Burgess

The job of a debt collection agent is to help whatever institution they are dispatched by recover money owed . While many consumers dread their calls or try to avoid them altogether, most recovery services are willing to work with people so that both parties come to a beneficial agreement. However, there are criminals that are taking advantage of the industry's inherent money obtaining success and are posing as agents, scamming Americans. It is becoming increasingly more frequent that overseas individuals are stealing money from citizens by pretending to recover a debt, giving a bad name to the industry. Calls from overseas The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that calls are being placed to people in the United States by criminals in India, many of whom pose as debt collectors or American law enforcement officers. The FTC recently apprehended California-based Kirit Patel and two companies he controls overseas for violating legislation concerning debt collection practices. The telephone calls were said to be harassing, frequent and involved threats against the people who answered, according to the FTC. An unidentified American told the department that callers had obtained a lot of personal information and claimed there were warrants out for their arrest due to overdue payments. Calls like this, the FTC reported, have cost Americans $5.2 million in the last two years. How to tell a real call from a fake Collection agencies may want to inform consumers about the differences between a true attempt to recover a debt and calls that are scams. This would help protect to money of regular citizens and could help recover the upstanding reputation of legitimate agencies that have been affected by these crimes. PrivacyStar, makers of a mobile application that blocks phone calls from suspicious numbers, explained that there are certain hints that expose fake callers from true agents. According to the source, due to legislation on collection practices, recovery workers must identify the company they work for, and must, if asked, send a letter confirming the debt. Additionally, agents must stop calling if asked to in writing. Silver Planet, a senior advisory group, suggested lenders can often be of help in this matter. If a call is suspicious, consumers may contact companies from which they borrowed money to see if the business contracted a collection service to recover an overdue debt.