Technology

Creditors Using Facebook to Track Down Debts

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Debt collectors have a sneaky new way to extract payments from those who owe them - they're tracking them down on Facebook.

 

CBS 8 News Now in Las Vegas reports that employees of collection agencies are creating fake Facebook accounts: they pose as attractive people, then send you a friend request.

Once you accept, they have access to all kinds of information they can use to extract payment from you. You may have your address and phone number linked to your Facebook profile, or your place of work may be visible to your friends.

Your status updates may reveal where you are, so creditors could come to find you in person; even your pictures could be used against you, if they include images of expensive merchandise or products you haven't paid off.

Is this illegal? Nope. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was put in place to stop collection agencies from misrepresenting themselves in order to get your money, but the law hasn't been amended since 2006, and since then, social media has become hugely popular.

There's nothing in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that prohibits collectors from using Facebook or other social media to collect debts.

Looks like the Act may need another round of amendments, and fast.