If you are deep in debt and unable to pay your bills, the ring of your telephone may be a truly frightening sound. That is because you know, when you pick up the phone, there will be a person on the other end demanding that you pay your bills. It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with an abusive debt collector or an understanding company representative. When you don't have the money to pay your bills, being confronted about them can be a stressful, humiliating experience.
This is why a new phenomenon in debt collection is so troubling. According to recent media reports, millions of people in Georgia and throughout the country are now receiving telephone calls from "phantom" debt collectors who are trying to collect debts that may not even exist, causing even more financial difficulty for people who are already stretched paper-thin.
Phantom debt collection calls generally come from overseas call centers. With reported ties to organized crime in India, the people behind these calls are running a massive scam - bilking Americans out of millions of dollars that they don't owe.
It is understandable how someone who receives a call from a phantom debt collector could believe that he or she actually owes them a debt. If you have several unpaid bills and a long-standing inability to pay them, it's easy to lose track of at least one or two.
Regardless of whether your collection calls are coming from overseas "phantoms" or legitimate debt collectors, keep in mind that it is against the law for debt collectors to make repeated automated calls all day and night, call you at work, call your friends or family members or make threats about wage garnishment and criminal charges. If a debt collector is attempting to use these abusive tactics, you should report it to the proper authorities.
Source: KPCC, "Ongoing economic woes and dealing with debt collectors, legitimate or otherwise," June 7, 2012