The Latest Scam
12-13-20: The Latest Scam – be aware
It’s called ‘Debt Parking’. The N.Y. Times reported about this scam in a 12/11/2020 article by Ann Carrns.
Here is how it works: You apply for a loan only to learn that your credit report is marred by a delinquent debt — one that you have already paid or maybe don’t recognize.
You could be a victim of unscrupulous debt collectors who have placed invalid or fake debts on your consumer credit reports to coerce you to pay them. The tactic is called illegal ‘debt parking’ or sometimes ‘passive debt collection’ and is used to coerce people to pay debts they didn’t owe or didn’t recognize and collectors don’t contact the consumer before reporting the debt to credit bureaus. That means people learn about the debt only when it is flagged as they are applying for a mortgage, or a car loan or even a job. Because they don’t want to lose the loan or the job offer, consumers may feel pressured to pay off the ‘bad’ debt quickly.
But, even before the need to apply for a loan becomes a requirement, the first indication that you are a victim of this scam will be a dramatic change in your FICO credit score.
Defense: Nowadays many credit card companies and banks offer free access to your current FICO credit score – use those resources to check your credit score on a regular basis via the internet.
For years, the VCC and the VCP have advocated obtaining free annual credit reports from the each of the major credit reporting bureaus. Do that for sure, but be certain to stagger the report requests during the course of a calendar year so as to increase the chances of spotting a problem as the year progresses. If you find an error on your credit report use the tools the credit reporting agencies and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provide to dispute and correct the error in writing.