We’ve been hearing from consumers who are concerned about sharing their personal info when they are contacted by a debt collector. We’re going to provide some background info and help you ensure you’re dealing with a legitimate collector so you can keep your personal information safe.
Where we fit in
We license and oversee the behaviour of debt collection agencies and debt collectors. Getting collection calls can be stressful and you have rights. It’s also important to remember that debt collectors are allowed to contact you about the debts you owe, and they do need to confirm the identity of the debtor as part of their process.
Worried about sharing your personal info with a collector?
If you are contacted by a debt collector, they may ask for your date or birth to confirm that you are the person who owes the debt. This is a common practice in the industry to ensure they have the right person. However, you have a right to be cautious about who you share your personal information with.
Unsure if you’re dealing with a legitimate collector?
If you’re concerned about sharing your date of birth with a stranger, you can do a licensee search on our website to confirm that the person you’re dealing with is a legitimate licensed BC collector.
Are you being contacted about a debt that’s not yours?
In some situations, collectors have the wrong information for the person they are trying to reach – so providing your birth date can show the collector they’ve reached the wrong person.
Alternatively, you can send our form to the collection agency to let them know they have the wrong person.
Do you want the calls to stop?
You have the right to ask that the collection agency contact you in writing only. To do this, fill out a “request for communication in writing only” form (printable form or online form). Send your written notification in a way that gives you proof of delivery, such as registered mail, fax, or email.
If the calls continue after a few business days, keep track of the incoming calls. You can do that by getting copies of your phone records, taking pictures of your call display or other methods. You can contact us directly for the next steps through our online complaint form or by calling us at 1.888.564.9963.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.