Sleazy Bill Collectors Are Stalking You On Social Media And Will Relentlessly Hound Your Relatives After You Die
About two years ago, I wrote an article about how sleazy bill collectors are now using social media sites like Facebook to get you pay your debts and how they are using some pretty innovative ways to get you to disclose information. One common practice is to set up fake accounts using pictures of internet models to con you into becoming friends. When you become friends, they immediately send you messages through Facebook tell you to contact, “Mr. Smith about your debt”.
Since I wrote that piece, I began getting mail from people telling me about their run-ins with sleazy bill collectors using social media to coerce money from them.
If you owe some money and are on Foursquare, debt collectors are tracking you and have no problem paying you a visit. Are you on professional social media sites like LinkedIn? Debt collectors are watching you and your employment status and using your job status to figure out how to collect money from you now that you have a good paying job or at least one where can enter into a payment plan
As side from conning you with pictures of bikini babes wanting to be your friend on Facebook? Bill collectors use those photos of you acting like a drunken imbecile reminded them of how the money you’re spending on those drinks could be put towards a payment plan. They won’t be shy about it either and will be very glad to share those ideas with you on your wall for all your friends and family to see. Bill collectors are so pumped up about their new found stalker networks that they even had the balls to brag about it.
Don’t think of ignoring ignoring those dozens of harassing phone calls from bill collectors if you have a public Facebook account that you accept friend requests from total strangers because your friends and family will start receiving messages on their Facebook pages from your “new friend.”
Bill collectors will use Facebook and other social media sites to repeatedly call you using a caller ID spoofer to make it appear as though a family member or a friend is calling you. In one case, a collection agency brazenly used photos of a women from her Facebook page to ascertain that she had a daughter. One of its employees proceeded to call her, claiming to be an investigator and in a Hannibal Lecter voice said, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to your kids while the sheriff’s department was taking you away?”
Pursuing Relatives Of the Recently Deceased
God forbid you die with owing some creditor money because if you do, you better hope your family members are in on the whole “they don’t have to pay your debt after you die” secret.
If not, plenty of bill collectors will bombard attempting to convince them that they owe money on debt that legally died when you did as you are sailing down the River Styx or chatting with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
Companies like DCM Services consider dead people to be the newest frontier in debt collections and will say anything and stop at nothing to convince your relatives to cough up money they are not entitled.
One of the first things that new hires at DCM are trained in, not surprisingly, is the Kubler-Ross model, more commonly known as the Five Stages of Grief:
If you’re unlucky enough to get a call from an agency such as DCM, you’ll be treated to what it terms “empathic active listening,” which mixes the “comforting air of a funeral director with the nonjudgmental tones of a friend.”
Empathic listening is all the rage with bill collection circles right now. You know something is very wrong with the economy when the debt collectors are all excitedly abuzz over the strategy of killing you with kindness.
But like a serial killer on a bad day, most of the time, bill collectors like DCM don’t even bother with the niceties and courtesy when calling grieving widows. One widow claimed she was called 15 times over a six-week period after her husband passed away. The bill collector calling her made her cry through out several of the calls. Another widow claimed DCM told her that it had the authority to put a lien on her house for her husband’s unpaid debts. But the kicker was the woman who was called by DCM was so brazen that they called a women between 45 and 50 times for three months after her son’s suicide demanding she pay her son’s debt.