My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
The phrase "claim against your social security number" is scary-sounding nonsense commonly spewed by scam artists pretending to be debt collectors - legally, that phrase has no meaning at all. A lawsuit is filed using a person's name, not their Social Security Number, and served on them personally. It's not possible to put a hold on someone's social security number. That's just not the way the US system works. There's a very good chance that the person you're talking to isn't a debt collector at all.
First, get a free copy of your credit report
from www.annaulcreditreport.com or www.creditkarma.com to see if there are any unpaid debts that you're not aware of. It's entirely possible that there really isn't a debt.
It's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to speak to a third party about your debt, other than just seeking location information. They're not allowed to say who they work for unless asked. They're not allowed to say that you owe a debt. They're not allowed to make contact more than once with any third party. They're not allowed to do or say ANYTHING that indicates they're trying to collect a debt against you. 15 U.S.C. 1692b.
The FDCPA doesn't specifically address how to confirm that the person on the line is the person who owes the debt, but they need to reasonably believe it's you. It's also a violation of the act not to tell you in the original communication "that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector." 15 USC 1692e.
Each violation of the FDCPA is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, plus your reasonable attorney's fees. If this IS a debt collection company located in the US, trying to collect a legitimate debt, you have the ability to file a lawsuit against them for damages. Scam artists typically cannot be sued, though (because it's nearly impossible to locate them and most have no assets located in the United States to pay a judgment). So the first step is to determine if this is a real company. See if they can send you any documentation to verify that this is a legitimate debt.
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