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Can debt collectors message you on social media?

If you have bills you simply cannot pay, answering the phone and walking to the mailbox may cause you extreme stress. After all, your creditors may have turned your debt over to debt collectors. Debt collectors, of course, do not have reputations for being warm and fuzzy people. In fact, they often engage in practices that border on illegal or unethical.

While you probably may know debt collectors can call you during most times of the day, you may not realize they also can contact you on social media. If you use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you may see messages from collections agencies the next time you log in.

Messages must be private

Many social media platforms have public forums where individuals can comment on your posts. With others, individuals may publish information about you without responding to a comment. When it comes to debt collection, though, messages must be private.

Debt collectors cannot publish information about your debts in places where your friends, relatives and other followers can see it. They usually may contact you using direct messages, however. If your social media settings do not allow you to receive direct messages, you may not know a debt collector is trying to reach you.

Messages must include relevant details

According to the Federal Trade Commission, about 95,000 American consumers fell victim to social media scams in 2021 alone. These scams caused individuals to lose $770 million. To protect you from potential scams, debt collectors must include relevant details when contacting you through social media.

Debt collectors must tell you who they are and what debt they are trying to collect. Ultimately, if a debt collector tries to pull the wool over your eyes, you may have a valid claim against the debt collector for harassment.