Although consumers are protected from illegal debt collection practices by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), new technology and the rapidly-growing use of social media, may provide new ways for collectors to thwart these protections. The FDCPA took effect in 1978 and currently has no provisions which explicitly prevent collectors from contacting a person through social media, according to a report by USNews.com.
Arguably, however, despite explicit provisions, FDCPA protection should be applied to any sort of social media contact, such as posting on someone’s Facebook wall or Tweeting them, to collect a debt. In fact, debt collectors have been known to try and friend debtors under various disguises to access profiles and contact debtors via social networks. Beyond social network sites, a collector can find a person’s cell phone number or work address, or contact friends and family members to learn a person’s whereabouts.
It is recommended that valuable personal and contact information not be made readily available via social networking, especially if you owe money. Additionally, check privacy settings so that only friends can see your information or photos. Also, do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know. They may be debt collectors or even spammers.
Depending on the circumstances, contact from a debtor collector through social media may be illegal under state and federal law. If you or a loved one has been the victim of such tactics, Los Angeles fair debt collection lawyer Howard D. Silver can help. Contact us today for a consultation on your case at (855) 341-2611.