Scam Alert: RPM “Debt Management” Is Questionable At BestJul 10th, 2013 | By Lynette | Category: Front Page
A local family has gotten several phone calls from an alleged “debt collection” company, RPM Debt Management. One family member stated that RPM has called their house numerous times regarding a debt owed for a mobile phone one family member supposedly had years ago. RPM even had the last four digits of the person’s social security number, and asked the family member to “verify” the rest of it.
There’s just one problem. No one in the family has ever had a mobile phone, not in the past and certainly not in the present.
Where, then, did this company get its information? More importantly, how did they come by the last four digits of one family member’s social security number? Why were they asking that the family member “verify” his information by giving out the rest of his/her social security number?
An Internet search reveals that RPM Debt Management is an organization based in Lynnwood, WA, that pursues old debts, often with erroneous and/or outdated information. Over time, addresses change and phone numbers are reassigned. Sometimes people get phone calls intended for someone they never heard of, but even after relaying this information repeatedly to the company, the harassing calls continue.
Aside from the stress factor, there is the danger of your personal information ending up in the wrong hands, if the “debt collector” who called you out of the blue is not who he/she claims to be.
One of the most important rules for protecting yourself against identity theft is to never give out personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know who’s on the other end of that line. This is especially important for things like social security and bank account numbers. A favorite trick of identity thieves is to call up victims and pretend to be a bank official or credit card official, and ask that you “verify” your bank account/credit card information. Sometimes, just a partial scrap of information can help them secure the rest of what they need. If they have the last four digits of someone’s social security number, it is often easy to convince the person they’ve called to spill the rest of the beans.
Even if RPM is a bona fide debt collector, it has an online reputation of being very aggressive and using intimidating tactics, such as hang-ups, repeated and often automated calls during a very short period of time, and late-night calls.
Debt collection agencies are prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act from making continuous and harassing phone calls, calling after 10 p.m. or calling on weekends. They are also prohibited from using threats or other means of intimidation, nor are they allowed to call you at your workplace.
If you are contacted by RPM or any other debt collection agency regarding a debt, do not give out any personal information. Instead, get as much information as you can, including call back numbers and names of managers/supervisors. If they refuse to give you this information, consider it a red flag.
If you are unsure of whether or not you owe money, pull a copy of your credit report and go over it with an expert.
If you are not the person being sought by the agency, or if you are certain you never incurred the debt, and if the calls continue after you have made the caller aware of this, visit the FTC (Fair Trade Commission) website at http://stopcollector.com/index.php. Roll the cursor over “Resource Center” and click on “Filing a Complaint With The FTC.”