The Office of Fair Trading has warned debt collectors not to pursue their owed debts through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In 6 months from April to September, the OFT had received 357 new complaints about debt collecting – up 59% from the previous 6 months. They are also publicizing, what some people call ‘embarrassing’ details about their financial problems which the majority of people keep to themselves. The OFT has claimed that they could strip the perpetrators of their consumer credit license to ensure this does not keep happening. They have also released new updated laws about how debt collectors can contact people in debt.
One of our leading Advisor’s Jason commented on the subject, “ Many people, understandably, want to keep their personal finances and debt problems private and this possibility of being hassled on a Social Networking Site is causing worry amongst some of our clients.”
David Fisher, the OFT’s director of consumer credit, said: “In the present economic climate, with many people, including those who may be particularly vulnerable, in financial difficulties, it is crucial they are treated fairly by companies recovering their debts.”
As these social networking sites can be very public as well, many people are beginning to panic in case they are targeted.
If you are worried here a few tips to keep you secure:
- Never make your profile public – always try to keep your profile so that only your friends and family can see your information and send you messages.
- Don’t accept people you don’t know – These could be debt collectors waiting to target you
- Do not engage in any conversation with any debt collection agency over a social media site.
Remember to always stay safe on-line and if you have any queries phone Refresh for advice on: 0800 121 4863