It is easy to feel powerless when a debt collector calls for the first time asking for payments for a loan that you owe. They may ask for payments or ask why you have not been paying your dues, and you may have nothing to say. Some debt collectors may try to hide their identity and derive your personal information.
These collectors may sound friendly on the call, but they certainly do not have your best interests at heart. They may say they are trying to reduce the debt, but these are only tactics to get your personal information. Speak to an attorney and get legal advice to protect yourself.
Should you give your personal information to the debt collector?
Debt collectors often disguise themselves to derive useful or destructive information from a consumer. They are highly trained professionals who know various tactics to get your personal information, such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, and other related information.
However, no matter how believable their statements may seem or how persistent they are, remember that you are not legally required to give out personal information to strangers over the phone. It is usually recommended that if a debt collector calls asking for your social security number or other such information, the receiver must ask for the collector’s first and last name.
Other important things to ask include the company they are calling from and what account number they are calling about. If the debt collector is not able to provide even the most basic information like these, you must end the call right then and there.
What you should do instead
Instead of giving out your personal information, which you are not required to do anyway, tell them that you prefer receiving requests in writing. This way, you can preserve the physical letter as evidence and give it to your attorney or use it in court.
It is only reasonable to ask for a written request in a situation like this, so do not be afraid to ask for one. It is important that you know who is calling to make sure you do not fall victim to identity theft or fraud.
When you first reject their request, you may be able to notice a bit of change in their tone of voice, perhaps a little annoyance. They may tell you they are only trying to help you, but do not believe them unless you have enough information. You have every right to end the call there if they start sounding threatening.