In this day and age there is an ever increasing number of people who have a poor credit rating or who have debts they are struggling to pay.
For this reason, fraudsters have seen debt collection as a means of making easy money.
Phone calls and letters from debt collecting agents can be upsetting for some people and a percentage of those will pay to get them off their backs.
However, not all debt collection companies are what they seem. Even some of the legitimate ones use some pretty shady and borderline legal tactics too.
So good are these people at what they do that they are even able to extract money from people who have no poor credit and no debt.
They prey on the fact that the average person is concerned about their credit rating and will pay to keep it in good standing.
For those who do pay those committing this type of fraud, the problems often become worse. Once you have identified yourself as someone who will part with money to avoid these types of bullying tactics, your details are sold onto mailing lists as you are now a prime target for anyone else thinking of committing a similar fraud upon you.
With hundreds of legitimate debt collecting companies, buying up debts at 5% of their real value from firms who have all but written your debt off, it is easy for the fraudsters to hide in the mix. Bona fide agencies are well known to harass and threaten debtors so a fraudulent individual doing the same may be considered the norm.
Often, the fraud they are perpertrating will involve paying a reduced sum to clear the debt – in this case the fraudster gets an easy one time payment.
Alternatively, they may even set up weekly payments or get you into credit agreements you really can’t afford, taking the sum you don’t owe as well as interest!
Best advice for dealing with such fraud is to talk to your creditor directly – if they have passed your details onto a debt collection agency then they will be able to tell you exactly who they are.
Never reply to emails or letters demanding payments unless you know exactly who is sending them and think very carefully before agreeing to a credit arrangement from a debt collector – you have to be regulated and authorised under the Financial Services Act to offer such a service.