AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Debt in all its forms can be stressful and downright annoying. Phone calls, snail mail, voicemails and even text messages from debt collectors.
But how do you deal with debt collection scams?
“If someone is collecting a debt, the first thing to ask for is proof of that debt,” said Janna Kiehl, president of the Amarillo BBB. “The company needs to send you proof if it’s real.”
How it works? The BBB said scammers would call and say they worked for a loan company, law firm or government agency, claiming they were collecting money.
“Certainly don’t give out any information, don’t give out any credit card information and of course no banking information because they can use it to withdraw money from your account,” Kiehl pointed out.
I was lucky enough to put this advice to good use by securing a front row seat against one of these scammers who randomly called me earlier this week.
The man on the other end of the line said he was calling from a law firm, which after extensive Google and phone research turned out to be fake.
He said he was calling about check fraud on a loan I took out with Check N’ Go. Of course, I don’t have any outstanding loans with Check N’ Go.
Once I started pressing him to provide validation of my possession of this debt, he fumbled and came up with excuses. I repeatedly pressed him to provide written proof, he finally unknowingly admitted he doesn’t have it.
Kiehl adds, “If someone can’t provide you with the necessary documents that are requested, then just hang up the phone, because they’re not a real debt collector.”
She also insisted that everyone do their detective work when it comes to potential debts or scams.
Check your credit reports regularly, and if you get a call about a debt you’re unsure about, you can call the BBB at 806-379-6222 with any questions.
Finally, if you get a call from a number you don’t know, just don’t answer the phone.