Debt Collectors Using Social Media to Collect Money, Advice From Consolidated Credit to Dissuade Unfair Practices

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In addition to non-stop phone calls and letters, debt collectors are now using social media to find detailed personal information. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services offers tips for social media safety.

According to reports, debt collectors can lawfully contact third-parties via social media sites to obtain your personal information if they are unable to find you through other means.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is receiving a record number of calls from people across the nation claiming that debt collectors are using social media as a means to obtain personal information in an attempt to collect funds. Social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Myspace are among the top networking sites where people have been receiving messages from debt collectors.

Most people have been warned to sensor what they post on social network profiles if they are looking for employment opportunities because Human Resource professionals use social media for job screenings. Now you can add debt collectors to the list of people who are virtually spying on you. According to Howard Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc and author of Credit Hell: How to Dig Out of Debt, agencies are using social media because it is free and easily accessible. “Debt collectors are using social media to contact family and friends of people who they claim owe them money,” he continued.

Debt collectors are not the only organizations using social media to their advantage says Dvorkin, “Police officials and the Internal Revenue Service are notorious for scouring profiles on popular social media networks in an effort to get more information about people who may be breaking a law or cheating on their taxes.”

Consolidated Credit offers tips for social media safety:

  •     Be careful who you friend and who you follow. If you don’t personally know them, it’s probably better NOT to friend or follow them; debt collectors have been reported using fake names on social networking sites
  •     Do not brag about new purchases or your financial situation
  •     Do not talk about tax breaks you may have received
  •     Do not mention your income or expenses

According to reports, debt collectors can lawfully contact third-parties via social media sites to obtain your personal information if they are unable to find you through other means. Profile information, comments or status updates that you or friends post allows debt collectors to obtain newly changed contact information such as the city you live in, email addresses, or a new phone number. Debt collectors are using these websites to find out who your employer is because they may be able to garnish your wages. Debt collectors may be searching for evidence about your financial situation, which could lead them to make a case that you’re frivolously spending money that they could be collecting towards your debt.

The general rule when it comes to social media is to exclude details about your life and finances. Consider anything you post as public information. Be smart, if you wouldn’t share certain things with people face to face, why broadcast it to thousands? You never know who might be reading.    

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.

Incorporated in 1993, Consolidated Credit has provided educational assistance, budget planning, as well as credit and debt management plans throughout the United States. Consolidated Credit is ISO 9001 registered and accepted worldwide. For more information about Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., go to http://www.ConsolidatedCredit.org.

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