When times are tough, we may fall behind on bills that could end up in collection. But, if you get a call from a debt collector, do not assume that the call or debt is legitimate.
Here are a few things that you can do to check things out and avoid getting taken:
If a debt collector calls and asks you to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth or social security number, watch out.
These could be signs of a scam. A legitimate debt collector will have this information and should be able to verify it by providing this information to you. If they ask for payment with an iTunes card or some other odd form of payment, this is also a telltale sign of a scam.
To protect yourself, tell the debt collector that you will not discuss things further with them until they send written proof that you owe the debt.
For more information about legitimate debt collection practices, visit the website for the Federal Trade Commission.