Despite the “official” word that the recession is over, we all know that the recession is still raging on. And with that recession comes very aggressive debt collectors willing to do almost anything to get paid. One of the new tactics that debt collectors are using is scouring social networking sites such as Facebook to glean information about debtor’s financial status. That’s right, debt collectors are setting up fake Facebook accounts and “friending” debtors who owe them money. Once the debtor friends a debt collector, they scour the debtor’s profile for photos, status updates, phone numbers, addresses and any other information that could tell them where the debtor lives, works and how much money they’re earning. They are especially looking for anyone who seems to have extra money to spend on vacations or expensive items.
Tips to avoid becoming a target of social networking debt collector vultures:
- Don’t friend people you don’t know. If you don’t let the debt collectors into your online social network they can’t target you, so your first line of defense of being cautious about who you add as a friend.
- Don’t brag about your recent purchases or any improvements in your financial condition online. If you have added a debt collector as a friend on Facebook or any other social network, bragging about your purchases and finances will only make them more aggressive in their collection efforts.
- Don’t share where you work on your social network. Debt collectors who are able to find out where you work may feel more confident in filing a lawsuit against you and trying to garnish your wages .
As a final note, if you are unable to pay your debts speak with a bankruptcy attorney about how you can use bankruptcy to protect you assets and income from debt collectors.