The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that 2,000 Americans were taken advantage of in a recent debt collection scam. Each victim paid an average of $516, and the scam artists brought in over $1 million. Resolvly LLC aims to help consumers avoid these scams. Here are five ways you can avoid falling victim to scam artists.

  1. Stay Calm

Be warned; many of these imposter scams rely on vague threats and intimidating language. In some cases, they may even threaten legal action if you don’t settle the debt immediately. These are tactics meant to goad you into paying up or offering additional personal data.

Stay calm and know your rights. Even if this is a legitimate debt, you have a right to address the debt on your terms without the pressure of a debt collector.

  1. Request a Debt Validation Letter

You can request something called a “debt validation letter.” This is an official document that includes information about the debt, such as the amount and the party to whom you owe money. It will also include some basic information about the third-party debt collection service, which can help you determine the legitimacy of this debt.

This letter is necessary for the debt collector to prove they’re legally collecting the money they claim you owe. If they are unable or unwilling to produce this documentation, then you are likely on the receiving end of a scam.

  1. Research the Debt Collector

Ask the debt collector for more information. Specifically, you want to know who is contacting you, what company they represent, and any contact details about the company itself.

Later, you can plug this information into a search engine to determine the company’s legitimacy.

But just because they have a website doesn’t prove anything — anyone can create a fake website.

Look for additional customer reviews or consumer watch websites. An absence of information or a lot of negative reviews can easily point to a scam.

  1. Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Your credit report serves as your financial report card. You can check your credit report for free once per year from each of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). If you do, in fact, have outstanding debt, your credit report should reflect this.

  1. Learn Your Rights

Every American consumer has rights that protect them from overly-aggressive creditors. For instance, creditors are not permitted to repeatedly call you regarding a debt, nor are they permitted to contact your family members or place of work.

If you do find yourself in debt, companies like Resolvly can connect you to the legal aid you need to assert your rights and manage debt on your terms.

Resolvly: Helping You Know Your Rights

Resolvly LLC provides industry-leading debt resolution assistance through a Florida Bar-approved lawyer referral service. Resolvly has helped thousands of Americans find a legal solution to their unsecured debt through a network of lawyers.

Are you facing a problem with consumer debt? Then contact Resolvly today for a free initial consultation.

Jean Wenzel
Jean Wenzel a is a current intern for Life and Entertainment. She has written articles about trending news, TV shows, celebrities and more.