Verify your debt before paying any collection agency: There are many scam artists trying to collect non existent debts. They phone, they text, they email, and they use regular mail. Before you send money to a collection agency there a few simple steps you should take to obtain additional information about the debt to ensure that you are not being scammed.
If you are contacted by phone:
- ask for the name, address, and phone number of the business and the collector;
- ask for the original creditor and account number of the debt you allegedly owe; and
- ask for documentation showing that you owe the debt be faxed or mailed to you.
If they are unwilling to do these things, the legitimacy of the caller is in serious doubt.
If you are contacted by mail, email or text: make sure the letter indicates the amount of the debt, name of the original creditor, and information on how you can dispute the bill and/or request additional information. If these elements are missing or they are unwilling to provide the information, then the legitimacy of the collector is in doubt.
Remember that you are always entitled to receive information about the original creditor and amount owed after requesting that information in writing from the collection agency. That is an easy way to identify imposters.
For more information on debt collection and consumer protections see:
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