- The collection isn’t on your credit report
- The debt collector asks you to pay via wire transfer or another untraceable method
- You don’t recognize the creditor or the account
- You can’t find anything on the internet when you search by their phone number
- They threaten you with jail time or pose as a government official
- They won’t give you their company’s contact information
What is the name and address of the debtor you’re trying to reach? If you are provided the wrong information or incomplete information, do not correct them. Instead, tell them to send you the validation notice (a letter that is required to be sent within 5 days of first contacting you) to the address they have on file, explaining that you will respond accordingly once the letter is received. Then hang up.
What is the name, address, and phone number of the company you’re calling from? Even if a caller gives you an answer, never discuss debts over the phone. Ask them to send you the validation notice and again, let them know you will respond once the letter is received.
What are the last four digits of the debtor’s Social Security number? This is somewhat of a trick question, as a legitimate debt collector will never answer this question. If they do, they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA. Even if they have your SSN, never confirm or deny the information.