If a person suspects that a debt collector does not represent a legitimate collection company, he can take the following action recommended by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is wise to document the dates each step is taken.
Ask the person for his name, the name of the company, its street address, phone number and professional license number since many states require debt collectors to be licensed. Check the information with the state in which the debt collector is licensed. Tell the caller you must receive a written validation notice before you can discuss any debt. By law, a debt validation notice must include the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt and a description of the person's rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, notes the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau.
If the caller refuses to provide all of this information, ask for the information to be sent in writing. A person should not provide any personal information until he is certain the company is legitimate. Contact the creditor directly regarding the legitimacy of the debt. If necessary, register a complaint with the office of the attorney general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to its official website.