Dealing with Debt Collectors When You've Been the Victim of Identity Theft

Some Debt Collectors Aren't Sympathetic to Identity Theft Victims

When you become the victim of identity theft it's a horrifying and helpless feeling. You'd like to think that those with the power to do so would help you get through the situation with as little frustration as possible. Unfortunately, many debt collection agencies care very little for your personal situation and will try to scare you into paying debts you're not responsible for. Here's how to handle it.

Keep Control of the Situation

When a debt collector calls you about a debt that isn't yours, there are certain things you need to do. First and foremost, do not give them any personal information. Ask them for their name, the name and phone number of the company they work for and any account number that might be associated with this debt. Then tell them that you want a letter in writing. When that letter arrives, immediately write a written response telling them that you contest the debt and are not responsible for paying it.

Know Your Rights

There are certain things debt collectors can't do (regardless of whether or not you've been the victim of identity theft). First and foremost, they can't threaten you. For example, if a debt collector says "you must make this payment today or we will need to start legal action" they are crossing the line. They also can't call you if you tell them not to. This doesn't, however, mean that they won't try to get away with it.

Don't Put Up With Harassment

If a debt collector does cross the line and makes your identity theft situation worse, tell them that you will be reporting them to the Federal Trade Commission. Then contact the FTC and your State Attorney General or the Department of Consumer Protection. More and more debt collectors are being held accountable for their actions and severe penalties are being imposed. If you're the victim of identity theft, you'll want to use this to your advantage when nasty debt collectors call.

You can read more about abusive zombie debt and debt collection scams
at this scam busting website.

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