News & Resources

The key to defeating scams

Oct 29, 2014 Philip Burgess

The key to defeating scams

In a world of data breaches, cyberattacks and scams, people are more apprehensive than ever about the messages they receive, especially if any of them are asking for money. This complicates the role of debt collectors looking to do nothing more than their job and gather the funds owed.

In every interaction with debtors, collectors need to ensure they come off as professional as possible to dissuade any doubts the defaulter may have. This is key for employees to move from case to case at a reasonable speed and prevent any unnecessary obstacles that may complicate or delay the process. Instead of wasting time straightening out credentials, collectors can avoid such hindrances by being prepared and respectful in every instance.

The need to avoid looking suspicious

With the sophistication of current debt collection scams, some callers are sure to face some level of mistrust at first. Collectors need to utilize all the consumer credit data at their disposal to prove their legitimacy, but sometimes more is needed.

In the news, the true extent of people's digital vulnerability is coming to the surface with every identity theft and retail data breach, leading to much more cautious behavior all around. If someone has had their personal information stolen before, they may be familiar with a con involving criminals imitating real collection agencies people might actually owe money to, asserted legal encyclopedia Nolo. After accessing private data, scammers could figure out the companies people really owe money to and pretend to call representing them.

This puts real collection callers in precarious situations, where they need to recognize the concerns of the times in order to do their jobs best. While it's already a staple of the profession to maintain composure in the face of an angry debtor, employees must also remain calm over doubt and reluctance if they hope to keep the process moving along as efficiently as possible.

By acknowledging the qualities many scammers have, collectors can avoid the conduct typically associated with them. Many of these criminals are impatient in their calls because the longer they are on the line, the more likely they are to be found out, added the source. By remaining calm and patient, legitimate callers can better distinguish themselves.

In turn, this sense of urgency will often lead to scammers demanding their payment that day. The goal of real collectors shouldn't be an immediate acquisition, but rather securing understanding of the penalties and arranging payment in accordance with all rules and regulations. Stressing the fact that multiple forms of payment is acceptable can be another giveaway to a reputable organization.

How to prove legitimacy
Preparation can go a long way in convincing someone a debt collector is the real thing. Sending a written notification before calls can help get a debtor used to the idea that they should expect contact. This type of validation notice can help establish the amount owed, the identity of who owes money and the agency that will be handling the collection, stated the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Employees should never be afraid to say who they are and the company they represent. If any of this information is withheld, it can raise some flags of alarm in the minds of consumers and put them on the defensive right away.

Callers should be more than willing to give their name, the company they work for, its address, phone number and professional license number if it has one. This can help dissuade concerns and enable the collections process to move along accordingly. By eliminating worries, debtors can focus on the problem at hand.