An ABC News investigation last year revealed that hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans have been targeted by abusive debt collectors. These scam artists have targeted struggling Americans. Armed with personal information from credit reports and online or payday loan applications, these “fake” debt collectors scammed millions of dollars from their victims — even though the victims never owed money in the first place. You can watch the entire video on the ABC News investigation here.
It is more important that ever that Americans learn their rights under the FDCPA. In Oklahoma, we’ve received numerous reports of these scams. When you receive a call from a debt collector, you should always verify the legitimacy of the caller. The FDCPA requires that the collector provide their name as well as the name of their company to enable you to research the collection agency further. First, see if they have a website. Even if they have a website, verify that the representative who called is affiliated with the collection agency by requesting written proof. By law, a collection agency must provide a validation notice within 5 days of contacting you about the debt. Within 30 days of receiving their validation notice, you should send the debt collector a written request to verify the details of the debt. Do not provide personal or financial information until the validity of the debt and the debt collector has been confirmed. If the debt cannot be verified or if requested documentation isn’t provided, do not pay the alleged debt. Contact an Oklahoma lawfirm experienced in handling debt collection matters, like Paramount Law.