There is a new fraud out there, which regards your financial information and could have you appearing in court to pay debt that you do not even know about. Read on and discover this latest fraud as well as the effective ways to protecting your financial information.
The Latest Collections Scam
A new fraud has been reported by Collection&CreditRisk, in which assumed debt collectors say to consumers that they need to show up in court to pay on a past due debt account. In the majority of cases, the debt account does not usually belong to the customer and they usually do not know anything about it. The effectiveness of this fraud lies in aiming at those customers who are already under a lot of financial stress. This is why protecting your financial information is necessary, so fraudsters cannot get hold of anything. These frauds are very troubling especially because they fall on those customers that are already struggling with their financial situation. These individuals face many threats into handing over personal information and money, which is why you must know that all debt collection companies must obey the National Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Such companies that are actually debt collection companies cannot threaten to put you in prison over credit card debt.
Falling Prey to These Frauds
With these frauds, it is extremely easy to fall prey especially when one is already under so much financial pressure. The moment something like this happens, the individual usually thinks this is an account they have forgot about due to the other financial stress. The best way to know how to distinguish between a fraud and an actual debt company is protecting your financial information from all fraudsters lies in your credit report. It is also vital that you never give any personal information over the phone and you make sure you protect all your personal information, so fraudsters and fraud companies cannot get hold of it.
Check Your Credit Report
The one way you will know who you owe and what you owe them is to check your credit report. You can get your credit report free and annually from the following three bureaus:
Once you have received the report, you can compare the three and you will find some may have less or even more accounts that the others. You then need to review each of these and look for anything that you are not aware of. This is the first step to protecting your financial information and knowing exactly whom you owe.
Contact Your Creditors
If there is something that seems unusual on your credit score, it is time to get in touch with the creditor that is listed on the report. This will give you more information and you can get in touch using the phone number for customer support, which you will find on the website. In the case, the account has been closed or charged off, which means the debt could have been sold to a collection agency. In order to still track this down, you can get in touch with your original creditor who will tell you who it is best to contact. Doing this means you can take care of all past debts as well as protecting your financial information at the same time.
Interpreting Unfamiliar Creditors
The most difficult part when reading a credit report has to be deciphering between the creditors. The names that you are probably used to seeing are not what the creditors name may show up as, which is another feature that may not seem so familiar. If you do see something that you fail to recognize, you can always look either through past and present statements that are online or in paper form. You can then list your entire accounts and compare them to the ones listed on the credit report. If you find any that are left over, you can review the statement. Another way to discover the unrecognizable name is to google it. For example, the name might read ‘Department Stores National Bank’ and when you google this, it may come up with the name you recognized it as.
Keep Your Finances in Your Hands
The best way to protecting your financial information is to keep your info in your hands. You may receive many calls from debt collectors saying you owe ‘so and so’. One point to remember is if the company were real, they would never threaten or harass you. When it comes to protecting your financial information, you should do this best as possible and not give any information out on the phone.
After reviewing your credit report you find you do owe debt, you should get in touch with the collection agency and continue with what their formal methods of repayment are. This way your finances stay in your hands and will never be given to a fraudster.