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Debt collection scammers use fear to con their targets, they know that making threatening calls and sending threatening emails is the perfect way to get someone to cooperate. Fear is their favourite and most useful tool and they use it liberally and without any hesitation. This is why you need to be prepared to deal with these scammers.

How People Get Scammed

Debt collection scammers are clever and they’re able to con people into giving them money on a regular basis. No one is safe from these scammers as the target everyone, especially those who are currently experiencing financial issues. Here are a few reasons why people often get caught up in debt collection scams:

  • To maintain their credit score. Most people are willing to do anything necessary to maintain their credit standing. Banks and other traditional financial institutions place serious emphasis on credit scores and therefore it’s understandable that most people want a good credit score to help secure their financial futures.
  • Because of past debt experiences. Scammers are sometimes able to target those who have had bad financial issues or experience in the past. These issues often make people desperate to keep their credit history in good standing and are more willing to hand over their hard earned cash to make a bad situation go away.
  • Lack of information. The average person knows nothing about debt collection scammers before they become the victim of one. This is why we believe it is so important that everyone is informed about these scammers; the more information people have the better the chances they have of either avoiding them or fighting them.

How to Deal with a Collections Scammer

How you deal with a scammer can mean the difference between getting them shut down and unfortunately falling for their scam. Here are the steps you should take if you are ever targeted by a debt collection scammer.

  1. Insist on verifying the authenticity of the debt: The first thing you should do when you receive a call from a debt collector is to ask for verification of the debt. Ask for a written document regarding the debt in question. It’s the right of any borrower to ask for documents regarding the debt. These documents should be mailed to the address you provide them. Always make sure you keep documentation of any and all loans you’ve applied for, even if you’ve completely paid them off. This type of information will help you fight any debt collection scammers that might target you in the future.
  2. Ensure the legitimacy of the debt collector and their agency: If you ever receive a call from a debt collector you need to make sure you verify the legitimacy of both the collector and the company their work for. All Canadian debt collectors are subject to provincial laws so do some research and find out if you are dealing with a legitimate collections company or a scammer.
  3. Ask for details about your apparent debts: Ask for as much information as possible, the more information you have about your apparent debts the better you’ll be able to fight your scammer.
  4. Report the incident to the authorities: If you’ve decided that you are in fact being scammed then you need to report your findings to the authorities as soon as possible. Depending on which province or territory you live in you’ll need to research who you need to get in contact with. Once you’ve alerted the authorities make sure you ask for updates and keep in contact with them as much as possible.
  5. Hire legal representation: If your situation seems like it’s getting out of hand then you should definitely think about hiring legal representation. Find a lawyer that specializes in fraud, they’ll be able to give you counsel and help you fight your scammers, especially if your case needs to go to court.

If you ever feel as though you are being targeted by a debt collections scam then you need to follow these steps. Taking action right away will allow you to get things under control before you’ve been scammed out of your hard earned money.

Red Flags to Look Out For

When dealing with debt collectors there a few red flags that you need to look out for. If you experience one of the following situations you debt collector might be trying to scam you, it’s important to stay alert and pay attention to any and all details and never give in right away especially if you know that you have zero outstanding debts.

  • If you debt collector is abusive right from the beginning. We all know that debt collectors have a bad reputation and they are often accused of harassment, but if your debt collector is aggressive right from the beginning they might be trying to intimidate you into giving them money before you realize you’re being scammed.
  • If your debt collector demands you pay them right away. Most legitimate debt collectors will not demand this, they typically give you notice and will also work with you to set up a payment plan.
  • If your debt collector only accepts one form of payment. Scammers often only accept one form or payment and that’s a credit card number given over the phone. Legitimate debt collectors will never do this.

Get Help Before it’s too Late

If you’re currently being harassed by a debt collector that does not seem legitimate then you need to seek help before the situation gets out of hand. Arm yourself with as much information as possible and get in contact with the authorities as soon as possible and whatever you do, do not give them your credit card number or any money.

Read more about scams here.


Caitlin Wood avatar on Loans Canada
Caitlin Wood

Caitlin Wood is the Editor-in-Chief at Loans Canada and specializes in personal finance. She is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. Caitlin has covered various subjects such as debt, credit, and loans. Her work has been published on Zoocasa, GoDaddy, and deBanked. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security.

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