Legitimate debt collectors are permitted to contact Tennessee consumers regarding outstanding amounts owed as long as they follow certain guidelines. However, many scammers try to take advantage of unsuspecting people and it may be difficult to ascertain whether or not the collection call a person receives is real.
According to Bankrate.com, a legitimate debt collector will already have all of the information pertaining to the debt in their files and will not ask a debtor to provide the information to them. Requesting that the caller provide proof of the debt is a good way to figure out if the call is real or not. Sensitive financial information such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers should never be given out over the phone.
When prompted, a real debt collector will provide the name of their company and how to contact them. Some creditors may use an attorney to attempt to collect a debt, and confirming whether a law firm is real is fairly simple to look up. However, some con artists may fraudulently use the name of a real collection agency or attorney's office. A simple phone call to the company to verify that they tried to make contact can cut a scammer off at the pass.
Another tactic used by fake debt collectors is to threaten to have debtor arrested or to report them to the police, according to the Federal Trade Commission. If that happens, the call should be reported to the FTC and the Tennessee Attorney General's office. Providing as much information as possible about the call will aide investigators in tracking down the scam artists.