If you’re in debt, you may get calls from third-party collection agencies. However, not all of these companies are honest, whether they are located in Arkansas or elsewhere. You should know the possible signs of a debt collection scam.
Signs of a possible scam
A debt collector must follow certain rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when attempting to collect debt. If they threaten to tell others about your debt, they are likely scammers and breaking the law. The FDCPA prohibits them from telling associates, employers, and family about the debt, but they can get contact information.
Some scammers may pose as an IRS agent by phone or email, and demand you make an immediate payment. However, the IRS never requests immediate payment by email or phone, and they never ask for credit card numbers.
Another common sign of a scam is they pressure you to make a payment with a gift card because they are harder to track. If you don’t recognize the debt or didn’t get a letter about it, it could be a scam.
If you recently filed a consumer bankruptcy petition, the law prohibits them from taking collection action temporarily or contacting you. This means collectors who contact you after filing bankruptcy could be scammers because they should receive notice.
Don’t give an unfamiliar collector any information and ask for a callback number and a confirmation letter. If they won’t give you a number or you can’t reach them, it commonly points to a scam.
They are required by law to include the name of the creditor you owe and the amount within five days of the first contact. Keep validation letters you have received from legitimate collectors for reference in case a suspected agency contacts you.
Check your credit report and the original creditor to ensure they used this agency. If you believe you have been scammed, you may file a complaint.