Debt collection getting social

Collections agencies using Facebook and Twitter to get debts paid

MSN Money reported that debt collectors are now using Facebook and Twitter to find people who owe debt and some are using unscrupulous methods to collect those debts.

One strategy the article mentioned is when the debt collector makes a fake profile to “friend” you, and then browses through your profile and personal information in order to contact you. Though it’s certainly unethical and possibly illegal, some may even post on your Facebook wall or tweet something to your friends and family about your debt.

The article gave several tips for avoiding shady debt collectors on your social media accounts that echo BBB’s tips for protecting your identity and avoiding scams on Twitter, Facebook and similar sites:

Be wary of unknown “friends.” If someone you don’t know sends you a friend request, be wary. You never know who is on the other side of that friendly picture.

Protect your personal information. Check your privacy settings so you can control who can see your profile and exercise good judgment when posting personal information.

Be careful what you post. Whether posting about that wild night you had with your friends or that awesome vacation you’re about to take, be mindful of who may be reading. You may be sharing too much information, not just with debt collection agencies, but with law enforcement, scammers and future employers.

Take caution with the “like” button. You may be giving companies and advertisers more information about yourself than you know. This is especially true of banks and credit card companies.


  1. Jeff says:

    Isn’t it about time to sue these people, make them pay you to go away, until they can no longer afford to do business as a debt collector?

    1. Thank you for your comment Jeff. It can certainly be frustrating for those who have some form of debt and definitely frustrating with those who have no debt and are mistakenly targeted. The Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act highlights many of the “do’s and don’ts” that debt collectors are supposed to follow when attempting to collect on a person’s outstanding debt. They will bring suit against companies who violate the Act from time to time.

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