One of the most terrifying moments in life is receiving a phone call from someone who claims you have an account past due, in collections and action is being taken against you. It happens all the time to people; and not just those with actual accounts past due and in collection. Back in 2009, I was the victim of a scam of this nature. I received a call from my father-in-law telling me that a collections agency called his house looking for me (why? We don’t even live in the same state). I called the number back and was horrified to learn that I had an old credit card in collections for around $2000. I quickly offered to pay the amount so that it would be handled; and that’s where I made my mistake.
I didn’t have an account in collections. I didn’t have a past due card. I was just so terrified that I paid it and only a few months later did I realize that it was a scam. I never verified anything, I never did anything I was supposed to do. I am very embarrassed by this. It happens all the time, though, and we want you to be prepared.
Do your research
Ask for proof of the debt. Tell the company calling that you want to see the paperwork that proves this is your debt and that you have to pay it. You might want to pull your credit report to look back on it and see if you ever even had that account. Oftentimes, it’s a scam.
Check the BBB
If you have a debt collector calling, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are legit. If they are, you’ll find them here without any trouble.
Get a return number
Here’s the part you have to make sure you do now; get a return number for the company and tell them you will call them back when you get home and can focus on your call (pretend you are driving if you have to). Now you can check the name of the company with the BBB, and you can call them back and reference your account. If the debt is legit and the number you were given matches that of the actual company, call it back and handle the situation. If it is not, don’t bother.
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