What To Do if Debt Collectors Demand Payment of Fraudulent Charges
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What can I do if debt collectors demand payment for fraudulent charges?
When your credit is damaged by identity theft and fraud, it is not uncommon for the accumulating debt to be sent to debt collectors to try to recover payment. And debt collectors have a reputation for being aggressive and harassing in their attempts to acquire payment.
If you are the victim of identity theft and debt collectors contact you insisting you pay the bills on fraudulent accounts, follow these steps provided by Privacyrights.org:
- Tell the caller that you are a victim of identity theft for charges related to the account.
- Ask for the contact information for the referring credit issuer, along with the amount of the debt, account number, and dates that the charges occurred.
- Write down the name, phone number, and address of the person contacting you and ask if you need to submit to them a completed fraud affidavit.
- Follow up in writing to the debt collector confirming your phone conversation and enclose a fraud affidavit if required. Send the letter with return receipt requested so you have a record of delivery.
- Ask that the company confirm, in writing, that they have notified the creditor of the fraudulent account, that you do not owe the debt, and that the account(s) has been closed.
Why ask the debt collector to relay information about the account? Because under provisions set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a debt collector is required to notify creditors that a collection account that incurred debt may be a result of identity theft. The FCRA also prohibits the transfer or sale of a debt caused by identity theft.