Debt collectors can be a nuisance, especially if they use threatening or illegitimate tactics to reclaim funds. The Better Business Bureau recommends some key strategies and techniques to keep in mind if an agency becomes too aggressive. Check with the BBB's website to ensure that the agency is legitimate by asking for the collector's name and contact information. Additionally, asking for written proof of debt owed is integral, especially if debt has not been confirmed by the bureau reporting it. The media outlet points out that by law, agencies must provide a validation notice within five days of making contact with the account holder. Making even one payment just so the debt collector will go away will indicate full responsibility of that debt, and could reflect as a liability on a credit report. Most importantly, a debt collector cannot make contact with an account holder after he or she tells them to stop. A written letter sent via certified mail to the collections firm should halt any harassing phone calls or emails. MSN adds that if a person owes money, he or she shouldn't pretend not to know anything about it. The media outlet suggests seeing whether the problem can be settled with the original creditor or if a negotiation can be made with the collector to settle the debt in exchange for removing it from his or her credit report.