The Law Office of Paul Mankin

Has a debt collector or creditor impersonated a police officer in an attempt to collect a debt?


Has a debt collector or creditor impersonated a police officer in an attempt to collect a debt?

Debt collectors have been known to do some outrages things in their attempts to collect a debt and earn a commission. Some are even resorting to impersonating law enforcement officers, including local police, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, Sheriff’s deputies, and other state and US officials. These fake police officers introduce themselves using titles such as chief, captain, or agent, threaten to arrest consumers if they do not pay a bill immediately, and sometimes even show up at consumers homes wearing fake uniforms, sporting fake badges, and carrying fake arrest warrants.

The police do not work for or assist debt collectors in collecting a debt and they do not make telephone calls or show up at people’s homes in order to collect on a debt. A real police officer will also never come to your home with an arrest warrant and then give you the option of doing something (like paying a bill) in order to avoid being arrested. Collectors will employ these tactics however because many consumers do not know, or are unsure of, what their rights are and some can be intimated into paying a bill, even if it is not their bill, when threatened with going to jail.

So what should you do if you are contacted by someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer attempting to collect on a debt?

  1. Ask the person for their name, the name of the company they are collecting for, the name of the original creditor, and a contact telephone number.
  2. Write down the time and date of the call, the number the call came from, and any information given to you by the person calling.
  3. Do not engage the caller in any conversation that is not in direct response to your questions.
  4. Do not give the caller any personal information such as your social security number, bank account information, or debt or credit card number.
  5. Save the caller information on your phone if your phone offers a feature that allows you to do so.
  6. If the person claiming to be a police officer or other agent of the state or federal government has come to your home, call the police.

Not only can impersonating a law enforcement officer land you in jail in every state, but when a debt collector does it in an attempt to collect a debt, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and subject to a law suit where they can be forced to pay the alleged debtor.

If a debt collector or creditor has pretended to be affiliated with a government agency in an attempt to collect a debt, call us today for a free, no obligation, case review at 1-800-219-3577.