KSL-5 out of Utah is reporting on debt collectors using social media to track down debtors. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone. Debt collectors will use whatever technology they can to try to get as much information about you as they can. The more they know about you, the easier they can collect money.
According to KSL, “Some [debt collectors] even create a fake account and try to “friend” a debtor. If the request is accepted, a debt collector can learn all sorts of things about a debtor such as his or her job, their hobbies and even their friends.” They will then be able to see everything about you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, what most people call the FDCPA, is the law that regulates debt collectors. It was written in 1977. That was before the internet and well before Facebook. The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is looking at updating the FDCPA.
For now, here are some tips:
1. Do not accept a friend request from someone you do not know.
2. Mark your settings to private.
3. Do not talk to a debt collector. If you do not hire an attorney, send them a debt validation letter and tell them that any communication must be in writing.