The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a video yesterday that aims to educate consumers about how to identify and avoid debt collection scams by sharing what a legitimate debt collector should ask for during a collection call and the types of information that legitimate collectors will be able to provide.
Noting that scammers will use high-pressure tactics to get individuals on the phone to “make a decision so fast” they “don’t have time to think about” what they are being told, the video instruct individuals to ask questions and be fully informed about a debt because legitimate debt collectors should be able to answer questions about to whom the debt is owed and how much is owed.
Legitimate collection agencies will also provide callback numbers and their address that individuals can use to verify the authenticity of a collection call, the CFPB noted in the video.
Individuals should also be wary any time they are threatened during a collection call, such as a collector telling an individual that he or she will go to jail if a payment is not made.
“If you want to spend the next week at home and not in jail, you will give me your bank account or debit card number right now,” a scammer tells an individual during the video.
But, the CFPB notes, legitimate debt collectors “want you to know who they are and how to contact them. It’s even reasonable to expect them to help you determine the best way to pay off your debts, and often to even help you arrange payments over a period of time.”