While the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, (“TCPA”) protects you from unwanted robo calls it doesn’t help with illegal scammers. You could sue them if you could find them but you usually can’t.
However, there is plenty you can do though.
If you think you are being contacted by scammers that are not actual legal debt collectors, here is some advice for things you can take do to protect yourself.
- Do not engage them in detailed conversation. If they are legitimate they will give you the name of their company, the original creditor and amount owed. If they won’t give you that information immediately, they are probably crooks trying to steal your identity so they can get credit in your name, buy merchandise using your information even take out payday loans in your name.
- If they have personal information such as your address, date of birth and/or last four digits of your social security I’d advise to be prudent you put a freeze on your credit reports. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
- Giving them any of your personal information puts you at risk for all kinds of economic injury. Even just calling them back can result in them stealing money from you. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/one-ring-wireless-phone-scam
- What about if you recognize the number? It may not be who you think it is.Scammers can fake caller ID info and do. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/scammers-can-fake-caller-id-info
Many of these scammers manage to steal people’s identity and/or sell their phone numbers as “good numbers’ fertile for all kinds of scams. They do this while almost never being caught or prosecuted even by some of the most powerful law enforcement agencies including the FBI and state law enforcement.
- I would encourage you to browse the FCC and FTC websites for a variety of malicious scams to give you an idea of just how creative and widespread this problem is.
- For more excellent tips go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-ways-avoid-fraud
- Also subscribe to FTC’s scam alert
- Get a call blocker for your cell phone that has a data base of numbers that have been identified as scams. My person favorites are Mr. Number and Hiya (formally White pages)
Finally, if it is a legitimate caller and they are robo calling you, call or email me at [email protected] to find out if we can help.