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We are living in the age of social media. Myspace may be a thing of the past but it was quickly replaced by Facebook. With these modern day technologies and trends, you can follow your friend’s and family’s entire lives through their status updates or “tweets” online.
But do you really know who is following you?
If you have any of the popular social media accounts you might want to sort through your “friends” and be careful about what you post online.
Facebook is no longer just a place to share a cute picture of your kids with your mother who is two states away, or post a funny status update, it is becoming a tool for creditors in locating debtors. Simply making your Facebook page private isn’t enough to stop them. Debt collection agencies have gone to the length of setting up fake Facebook profiles with pictures of attractive women or men and adding debtors as “friends.” After the collection agency has been added, they can see everything about the debtor including their location. In most cases, the fake account is used to leave harassing comments, and remarks on the debtor’s page.
According to the Associated Press, a Chicago man received a Facebook “friend” request from a pretty girl in a bikini. He didn’t know the account actually belonged to a collection agency, and only realized it when the user placed a public posting on his Facebook wall saying “Pay your debts, you deadbeat.”
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) explicitly prohibits debt collectors from contacting third parties to try and collect on the debtor’s debt. Despite this law, creditors are increasingly using Facebook to contact debtor’s friends and families to find out the location of the debtor.
So, next time you have a “friend request” on Facebook or someone is “following you” on Twitter, be careful when accepting that invitation because it might be a creditor attempting to gain personal information. If you are being harassed by a creditor through any of the social networking sites, or by any other means, contact our office immediately. Our Orange County creditor harassment attorneys can help you – 949-200-8755.