How To Tell If A Debt Collector Is Legitimate

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 20:36

Collection Agencies

Do you dread that angry voice on the phone demanding you pay your debt? If you’ve ever received that phone call, it can definitely be a nerve-racking phone call. But what if you don't recognize the debt or the collector? Before you apologize or promise to pay, make sure it’s actually your debt! Just because the collection agency is legit doesn't mean the debt is yours. Collectors do make mistakes. But at least you can make sure the debt isn't an outright scam.

Here are a few ways to tell if a collector is real:

  1. Threatens you. A legitimate debt collector won’t resort to threatening you with criminal action. A legitimate debt collector may let you know that they may pursue civil legal action, but they will never use threats like having the police show up to arrest you.
  2. Refuses to give you any information on the debt he is trying to collect. The debt collector should be willing to disclose all information about the amount you owe, including who the original creditor was.
  3. Refuses to give you their address or phone number. The debt collector shouldn’t try to keep their identity a secret.
  4. Refuses to give proper identification. Collectors are required to divulge the true legal name under which they're licensed, the legal name of the collection agency, the original creditor's name and the debt amount owed.
  5. Asks for sensitive personal financial information. Be careful about the information you provide to anyone that you aren’t certain of. Legitimate creditors should already have that information. If you're concerned, shift the conversation and ask them a few questions. If they can't provide you with answers, you should be weary of the collector.

If you think you've been contacted by a fake debt collector, you should report the matter to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Consumer Protection Ontario.

If debt collectors are calling you, we can help stop them immediately. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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