BBB: New debt collection rules allow collectors to DM you on social media

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Whenever you receive a social media message demanding money, it is usually a scam. Now, however, you may have to do a little more investigating.

This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau updated its debt collection rules. Now, collectors are allowed to direct message you online.

"People in the industry felt like they needed more ways to contact people that people are actually using," said Victoria Carreon with the Better Business Bureau.

Carreon said not many people are aware of this change and could easily dismiss the messages as a scam. However, doing that could further damage your credit score.

"This is a formal communication," Carreon said. "If you miss a notice, you’re still responsible for the information."

On the other hand, scammers may try to pose as a collector to fool you, which means you have to be extra careful.

"I use Credit Karma and I know my bank also offers credit reports," Carreon said. "That helps me monitor my accounts and then I just contact those people directly."

A few other DM rules:

  • The debt collector has to identify themselves
  • They can’t post on your public wall
  • Contact has to be through messaging
  • They have to offer a messaging opt-out option