Is it a Debt Collector or a Scammer?

Consumer advocates urge caution when dealing with collectors

Andy Spears
2 min readApr 8, 2022


Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

According to the consumer advocacy attorneys at Finn Law Group, debt collection scams may be on the rise. The attorneys cite a report from the Better Business Bureau and highlight ways consumers can protect themselves from potential scams.

Debt Collection Scams On The Rise (

Warning Signs

One red flag is if the debt collector refuses to give you information about the debt or the company they are representing. Another is if the debt collector demands that you pay the debt immediately, in full, and in cash. And finally, if the debt collector threatens to have you arrested or to sue you if you do not pay the debt, this is a definite sign that it is a scam.

If you think the so-called collector might be a scammer, ask for all the information about the debt in writing.

According to Finn:

Consumers have rights when it comes to debt collection and debt collectors. These rights are laid out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal law that prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when collecting a debt. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are also required to send consumers a written notice of the debt within five days of their first contact.

If someone says they are a collector but won’t give you all the details of the debt in writing, you should stop dealing with them.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .