What you need to know if you’re being tracked down by a debt collector

Source: Michelle Singletary, Washington Post (Paid Registration)

What proof does a debt collector have to provide me that I owe the debt?

This “debt collection validation notice” should include enough information to help you figure out if you owe the debt. 

— The name of the debt collector and iInformation about the creditor and any account number associated with the debt. You should get enough details to help you recognize or verify the debt is accurate. The notice should have a form that you can send back to dispute the debt or take other actions.

— An itemization of the current amount of the debt, including interest, fees and payments you’ve made.

How can I be sure that a message isn’t from a scammer?

Here’s where things can get tricky and how a scammer can trick you into sending them money or divulging personal information.

“Being able to contact people via social media accounts is very concerning to us,” Sherry said. “A lot of spammers and scammers are using text messages, so people need to be very cautious.”

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