The Federal Trade Commission has charged Worldwide Processing Group with illegally purchasing and collecting debts that people didn’t owe or had disputed. The FTC reported the company knew the debts were fake, but collected them anyway.
This group also collected fake debt from a Kettering woman who lost hundreds of dollars as part of the scam that she reported through the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
“Protect yourself and stay up to date by regularly pulling your credit reports and reviewing account statements. Keep track of money owed so if you receive a call from a collection company, you know what is legitimate and what is not,” John North, president and CEO of BBB serving Dayton/Miami Valley said.Here are some tips to protect yourself from debt collection scams:
- Ask the debt collector to provide official validation notice of the debt: In the U.S., debt collectors are required by law to provide this information in writing. The notice must include the amount of debt, the name of the creditor and a statement of your rights. If the collector won’t provide the information, hang up.
- Ask for more information: If you do own money and aren’t sure if the caller is real, ask for his or her name, company, street address and telephone number.
- Do not provide bank account, credit card or other personally identifiable information over the phone: If the collector is legitimate, he or she should have details on the accounts in question.
- Hang up if you don’t have any outstanding loans: Don’t press any numbers or speak to an agent.
- Check your credit report: This will help you determine if you have outstanding debts or if there has been suspicious activity.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report.
- Research the company: Use trusted third-party resources, such as your BBB. Visit www.bbb.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301 to get a Business Profile on the company.