If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are experiencing the heavy load of multiple debts, then you are a potential target of individuals posing as debt collectors. They are ready to prey on you and rip off of your hard-earned money.

They have mastered the craft of lying, and this makes taking advantage of your vulnerability during a financial crisis easy as pie for them.

But, there's no need to be paranoid. There are ways you can detect them even through a simple phone call.

Learn how to counteract their grilling. Outsmart them by picking up from their antics. In this way, you can have the upper hand in their dirty game.

How can you identify a debt scam? What situations call for a red alert? Drop your fear and strengthen your gear. We've gathered these crucial signs and tips to help you stay vigilant:

I.The Use of Harassment

Scam: From the time they open their mouth to the point when they end the phone call, you would know that these scammers are taking advantage of you by merely harassing you. They would threaten you with jail time or lawsuits so that you would immediately obey their orders. It's psychological warfare, and you happen to be the victim in this situation.

Real Score: Genuine debt collectors follow regulations set by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) carefully. They don't abuse you with profanity or threat. Instead, they discuss the matter with you in a professional way as they are tasked to remind you of your financial obligation to your debts.

II.Misleading or Lack of Information

Scam: If you verify for specific details about your debt and they could not give you a straight answer or they don't have the information at hand, then they are scammers. They usually create details or figures that would sound incredible and questionable at your end, especially if you know your debts fully.

Real Score: Legit debt collectors do have access to information about your debts through your creditors. Often, they formally send you reminders about your obligations through email or snail mail.

III.Immediate Payment

Scam: Scammers have the habit of calling you with the threat of lawsuit or imprisonment when you don't adhere to their order of immediate payment. They do this for the sole purpose of getting money from you at the soonest possible time.

Real Score: Authentic debt collectors do not engage in a mind game with you. They do remind you of your monthly payment, and they expect you to pay your debt when they call you. However, they don't resort to threats if you don't pay immediately. They discuss such matter with you in the most professional way.

IV.Non-existence of Office Address or Business Name

Scam: These debt collectors would call you and rant about your debts. They demand immediate payment from you, and you should send your payment directly to their account. Try asking them as to where precisely their office is located or what their agency name is. If they can't give you a direct answer or they refuse to provide details about it, they are scammers. That's your sign to hang up the phone.

Real Score: A valid debt collector will divulge immediately the name of the agency for which he/she is working for even at the start of the phone call. If you ask where his/her office is located, he/she can give you the complete details about it. If you want information about account details of your debts, they would be willing to send you this information via an email or snail mail with a registered address.

V. Calling during Non-Office Hours

Scam: When a debt collector calls you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, that's a scammer in action. They don't call you between work hours since they don't work in an office to start with. They could just do it in their garage or the comforts of their room.
Real Score: Debt collectors call you during office hours as they also report at the same time you go to work. They conduct calls in their offices and work hours are their official time to do it.

Be vigilant:

Scammers are capitalizing on the emotional effects of multiple debts on unsuspecting debtors. They take advantage of the desperateness of financially struggling individuals by making strides to drown them further into debt. National Debt Relief can be a great resource to give you more information and guide you along the way.

As they skyrocket in huge numbers, it is vital that you practice vigilance in all your financial transactions. Having an extensive knowledge of essential “Fair Debt Collection Practices” is a good armor in guarding yourself against mischievous debt collectors.

Be a responsible debtor. Know your rights in every transaction. Take precautionary steps as you journey your way out of financial slavery.