Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Normally, collectors do not ask for personal information about account numbers or other personal information BUT that alone does not mean this was a "scam" and not a proper call. When contacted by a collection agency a consumer has the right to ask for proof of the amount owed and other rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) , which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in charge or regulating or overseeing and you can learn more about what consumers' rights are when contacted by debt collectors by reading - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fdc.shtm You can also contact the FTC to report any improper action by a debt collector or potential ID theft by calling them at the number listed at the bottom of that webpage. The FTC also has an Identity Theft division you can contact for assistance - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
To find out if this is legitimate or not, you may want to contact your state's Attorney General's office, most of them have a "consumer protection" division or section, to find out what to do and to see if they can investigate. If you tell me what state you are in I can give you a link to your state's Attorney General's office or other consumer protection office.
Unfortunately, only an attorney you hire in your state or your state Attorney General's office or the FTC (which is why I provided the information about them and said if you can tell me your state I can give you the contact information for the AGs office) can help you decide how to proceed. Of course, if this collection agency is real, then ignoring it will certainly be a bigger problem later. You need to contact the agencies that can help you, or an attorney, ASAP.
State AGs investigate and help consumers whose rights may be violated or who need to be protected from unethical or illegal businesses or scams. In PA, the AGs office has a hotline you can call and also their direct number - http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/theoffice.aspx?id=71
I just saw that you said PA - In PA, the AGs office has a hotline you can call and also their direct number - http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/theoffice.aspx?id=71
I hope the AGs office can help you, also, as this may be a crime, you may also want to contact your local police to see if they can investigate this to see if it is a potential identity theft or other theft matter.
If my response has been helpful, please do not forget to click the accept button.
Educator, Esq: Follow up question: Is the following
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).