April 11, 2017
Modern Debt Collection: Protect Yourself!
One interesting intersection of the ideas of money and technology is the concept of the modern debt collector. Debt collection agencies can be very effective for people trying to get money, and absolutely brutal to people they’re trying to get money from. So if you end up on the wrong side of that equation, what exactly can you do?
Well, you can be sure to read the latest news about the debt industry, make sure you’re updated about encryption technology, filter your email, screen your phone calls, and above all else, know your rights. Follow those steps, and you should be able to avoid the negative aspects of debt collection.
Read the Latest News
Your first step should be to read about how to deal with debt collectors. New articles come out all the time talking about what companies want and how they get it from you. There are concrete ways to avoid the worst parts of being hounded by debt collection agencies, but those techniques do change over time, which is why reading about them is so important. New reports can also indicate to you which behaviors of theirs might be illegal.
Stay Updated About Encryption
Debt collectors have funny ways of getting information about you. They often figure out how to scan through social media, public records, or other digital means to find ways to stalk you and/or get under your skin. If you’re in debt, make sure that as much as possible, all your digital communication is encrypted and secure, especially with information in the cloud, or messages passed back and forth through 3rd party forums.
Brutally Filter Your Email
Modern debt collection has many aspects that will attempt to reach you through your email. Filter your email constantly. Tag things as spam. Never click links that you don’t know where they go. Make sure that images don’t load unless you give them permission. Any kind of digital communication can be tracked, so leave as a little as possible in your email for anyone to follow.
Screen Your Phone Calls
Obviously, debt collection agencies and debt collectors are going to find out what your phone number is. And if you block their number one way, they’ll just call from a different number. Your best option is to only answer calls where you know the number, and leave everything else to voicemail. It’s a solid habit to get into even if you aren’t avoiding debt collection, in fact.
Know Your Rights
Last but not least, be sure to know your rights, specifically when it comes to harassment. Many techniques that debt collectors use are right on the fringes of the gray area of the law, but without you knowing in advance what’s what, they might be able to intimidate you into payments that you aren’t ready to make.