Everyone is scared of debt. Losing money because of an accident or simply for unexpected expenses terrifies many of us. Thus, when you receive a call from a collection agent who tells you that you owe him money, you are tempted to quickly pay back the amount, to avoid any problem. It’s only a little while later that you learn that he was an impostor.
Unfortunately, people are often trapped by such a scam. This type of fraud works so well just because people may be in debt, especially with a collection agency. The imposters manage to play the role of the collector and threaten you, insulting you and putting a lot of pressure on you to pay them. The worst thing about all this is that they will try to contact your friends, employers and loved ones to advise them of your “fake” debt. The only way to get rid of them is to pay them the money.
This scam works so well because people will do everything to pay off their debt, especially if the debt has negatively affected their lives in the past. When there is mention of collection agency in your credit history, this can seriously threaten your chances of getting a loan in the future.
So, if you ever get a call from a collection agent, whether you have a debt or not, do the necessary research before paying. Even if the situation is true, it is always better to take precautions.
Here are some clues to discern an impostor.
1. He presents no evidence
When any agent contacts you, ask them for written proof of their qualifications. If the person tries to avoid this subject or refuses to give you the written evidence, it would be legitimate to assume that it is an impostor. Also, do not believe them if they tell you that the letter with the written evidence was sent some time ago and it just did not arrive or if they say they will send it to you by email.
Make sure you have the confirmation letter in your hands before you even consider paying. If the letter has not arrived yet, do not hesitate to ask for a second one.
2. They threaten you
By law, collectors are prohibited from threatening you. So if the collector who contacts you does not stop threatening you, it would be fair to assume that he is an impostor. Real collection agents want to be paid right away, but they will never dare to threaten you with imprisonment or legal process. In fact, if ever your situation goes to court, you will receive official papers that will notify you. This will surely not be done over the phone, coming from an unknown person.
Real collection agents are not always the nicest people in the world. Therefore, if the situation escalates, ask the person the name of the agency and tell them that you will contact another collection agent. If they ever refuse to give you this information, you are entitled to assume that it is an impostor.
3. They ask you to make the payment by a prepaid card or by electronic transfer
Be aware that this is an impostor if the person asks you to make the payment via a prepaid card or by electronic transfer. The impostors want to rip you off quickly and get your money as fast as possible so you do not realize the fraud. Never pay a collection agent the same day he contacted you. A real debt collector will give you a few days to get you in order.
Learn more about this kind of scam.
4. They have information about your payday loan
This item is primarily for people who have a payday loan. Be aware that this is a scam if the agent who calls you has information about you and the fact that you have applied for or used a payday loan. Impostors often target companies that make payday loans and, in some cases, buy their information.
It is normal for a collection agent to have information about you and your business, but when the person has information about your payday loans, then it is a fraud. Make sure you know your rights and the laws surrounding collection agencies to avoid potential fraud.
What if you have acknowledged the fraud?
If you realize that someone is trying to defraud you, keep calm and ask them what company they are working for and then hang up right away. The impostor will surely give you a real name, but you still want if that person is really the person she claims to be. Do a little research on the Internet, try to find the person and check if she really works at the company mentioned. Call the collection agency and ask them for information, it’s all about your money.
In case of two frauds, make sure to keep calm and, above all, do not give them your money. Do the necessary research and check if it is a true collection agent before making any payments. Take the necessary precautions.
See also our articles on consumer proposal and personal bankruptcy