Debt collectors have a difficult job, and they often resort to strange methods in order to get the money they need.
However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists as a way of combatting debt-collecting behavior from getting out of hand. Unfortunately, this does not stop every debt collector, though.
The use of intimidation tactics
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses misrepresentations of the truth in cases where debt collectors cross the line to get their money.
Many will utilize intimidation tactics via misrepresentation. For example, it is not uncommon for a member of the agency to act as a lawyer. They may threaten the target with lawsuits that they cannot uphold, or even threaten to evict the individual despite having no legal power to do so.
In some cases, debt collectors may even impersonate an officer in an attempt to more realistically threaten a victim. This is, of course, illegal.
Dealing with outright lies
Sometimes, the misrepresentation comes in a form that is harder to identify. For example, the debt collector may lie about the exact amount of money owed or the interest rates that the victim is dealing with.
They might do this in an attempt to make the situation seem more dire than it actually is, with the hope of spurring the victim into action. They might even use it as an opportunity to try making more money, even if the victim does not owe it.
Victims have a right to act against the debt collectors doing these illegal things. They can protect themselves under the FDCPA.