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Debt collectors using social media; here are tips to avoid a scam

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – If you owe money, debt collectors can now reach you at your fingertips.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau updated standards to now allow debt collectors to reach people through social media, text, or email. The policy change does come with strict regulation, though.

The change is all about giving debt collectors new ways to reach people.

”Everybody’s going to social media, right? And they’re finding that they want to be relevant, just like everybody else,” said Holly Wilson, Director of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Springfield.

The rules online debt collectors have to follow start with how they can reach you.

”It has to be completely private,” Wilson said. “So none of your friends, none of your followers, nobody that could see it publicly.”

Debt collectors must also clearly identify themselves, list the amount owed, and the name of the original creditor if it’s different from the current one. Collectors must offer you an option to opt out of messaging as well.

”If they’re missing those pieces of information, then that would be a red flag and just opt out,” Wilson warned.

Despite the regulation, there is always the fear of a scam.

“Scammers will actually take out fake social media ads and will also go ahead and message people,” said Stephanie Garland, Regional Director of the Springfield Better Business Bureau. “A lot of times they’ll pretend that they have a government grant that they’re offering and…

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