You’ve seen the stories on ABC News about the fake debt collection scams harassing millions of Americans. These scammers threaten criminal charges, fraud, arrest and prosecution. The word for this behavior – extortion. The scammers have an enormous amount of your personal information, including name, address, previous loans and sometimes even your social security number. Using extortion techniques, they harass and threaten people to respond immediately with payment, or face ‘fraud’ charges and arrest. They usually demand a debit or credit card too.
Here’s the deal: if you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector, ask the caller for his name, company, street address and telephone number. Write this all down. REFUSE to discuss the debt until you receive a written validation notice, which must include the amount of debt, the original creditor’s name. These are your rights under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If the caller does not give you the information you request, DO NOT PAY A DIME. Hang up. Do not give out any personal or financial information or confirm bank accounts, credit cards or anything else. This information can be used by the scammers do commit identity theft.
Instead, tell the caller that you will be filing a complaint with the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission and your attorney. When these scammers understand that you are savvy and on to their game, they usually move on to the next poor victim on the list.
We, at Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers, want you should know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows consumers to hire lawyers who can sue debt collectors for violating the FDCPA. These lawsuits cost you nothing. The attorneys’ fees and costs are shifted, by law, to the Defendant to pay. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your rights as a consumer, visit our website at www.micreditlawyer.com, which is filled with informative videos and advice to help consumers. Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers is here for you.