Contacted by a debt collector? Don’t be so quick to give out info….
If you’ve recently been contacted by a debt collector, do you know if they’re on the up and up?
National Credit Adjusters (NCA) receives consumer information on those who default on loans by retailers. In March, they started receiving reports from customers who reported being contacted by unauthorized third-party debt collectors. The personal information that may have been in these debt collectors’ possession included names, addresses, debt balances, date of birth, and Social Security numbers. The information may also have included information on any loan co-signers.
After being alerted to a possible problem in March, NCA began in investigation and contacted law enforcement.
“Although the investigation is ongoing, we have decided that we cannot at this point rule out the possibility of a breach and are providing this notice to you out of an abundance of caution because we wanted to take every precaution to allow you to protect yourself,” Mark Fletchall, General Counsel, wrote in a June 4 letter uploaded to the California Attorney General’s website.
The letter contains some helpful suggestions to those who may be contacted by debt collectors, including not giving out any information until you receive a written validation notice from the debt collector and/or calling the NCA at 1-855-737-9123 to verify that the debt collector is an authorized debt collector.
The letter does not offer anyone any free services (presumably because NCA has not yet determined whether this was even a breach involving NCA’s system or network).