There have been two recent complaints by consumers accusing debt collectors of harassing them through their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
A mid-west gentleman received a Facebook friend request from what appeared to be an attractive young woman in a bikini. He did not realize that his attractive new “friend” was actually a debt collector using fake pictures to entice him to accept the friend request. It was not until after his new “friend” posted a message on his wall saying, “Pay your debts, you deadbeat,” that he, and all of his Facebook friends learned the truth. Because the debt collector failed to disclose to the consumer that he was attempting to collect a debt by contacting him or Facebook, or the identity of the collection agency, the request to become a Facebook “friend” violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Some debt collectors have also violated the FDCPA by disclosing the details of the debt to all of the consumer’s Facebook friends.
Another debtor sued a debt collection agency for using Facebook to tell her family and friends to have her call them. The debtor alleged that the collection agency also called her cell phone 6 to 10 times a day, sent her numerous text messages and contacted her neighbors about her debt.
Debt collection agencies’ abuse of social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook is a new twist on a well established pattern of intimidating consumers in order to coerce payment from them.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors in violation of the FDCPA, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call California consumer protection attorney, Todd M. Friedman at 877-449-8898 for a free consultation.