One important reason for people to check their credit report is to spot any errors that could undermine their personal financial situations.
With this in mind, some people have found themselves victimized by unscrupulous debt collectors for money they did not actually owe. When this happens, consumers should be aware that they have certain rights under federal law about the tactics debt collectors can use.
For example, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act bars debt collectors from using foul or abusive language, posing as law enforcement personnel, or calling at unreasonable times of the day, among other things. The law also provides ways for people to avoid being contacted further by a specific collector and to dispute erroneous debt claims.
Collectors who fail to abide by the law can be held accountable by agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, which recently announced that one group of people who were tricked into paying debts they did not owe would be reimbursed $1.6 million.
In that particular case, the FTC reported, con artists operating under the name National Check Control had falsely threatened consumers with criminal prosecution, illegally communicated with third parties about them and subjected them to other harassing behavior.