Debt Collector or Scammer: How to Tell the Difference?

As an experienced debt collection agency, Cobra Financial Solutions are on hand to help reveal some of the ways scammers might try and fool you.

A scheme where scammers pose as debt collectors and collection agencies and try to get businesses to pay them is on the up. These types of scam artists often use harassing and abusive tactics in order to frighten you into providing personal information

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In such instances it is very difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate debt collection agency and a scammer but we’ve put together a few red flags to watch for that indicates that the collection call you receive is probably not from a legitimate agency.

How the Fake Debt Collection Scam Works

The scam is straightforward. Scammers will call businesses to collect debts, posing as real collection agencies. Often, the scammers will have already accessed your personal information through identity theft or by obtaining your credit report. By doing this, they will often appear to be “collecting” debts that you actually owe, making the scam seem very believable but do not be fooled.

How to Tell If You Are Being Scammed

Here are some tips to help you determine whether there is a real collection agency on the phone, or a scammer.


The caller is abnormally harassing and abusive.

Scammers will often use over-the-top, aggressive, blatant threats. At Cobra Financial Solutions, our debt collection agents use professional, persistent and persuasive techniques rather than abusive or harassment techniques to recover outstanding monies and that’s the way it’ll stay.

Scammers will tell you that you are being served with a law-suit immediately. Alternatively, they may say that they have contacted the police, or that you may be arrested. These are, of course, false threats. If you want to know about how a professional debt collection agency operates, get in touch with Cobra Financial Solutions today and our team of specialists will happily explain our typical procedure so you are in the loop and know what to expect.


The caller says that they don’t accept various forms of payment.

Professional and well established debt collection agencies such as Cobra Financial Solutions accept payment through a combination of methods. A scammer will usually insist on payment in a single way, for example, only allowing you to pay by credit card over the phone and refusing payment by any other method.

The caller refuses to give a physical address or name.

If the collector can’t give you an actual mailing address, or even the full name of the company on whose behalf s/he is calling, that’s a sure sign of a scam. Any legitimate collection agency will readily give you this information.

At Cobra Financial Solutions, we are regarded as one of the fastest growing Debt Collection companies in the UK and as an FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), you can rest assured we’ve been assessed in terms of our conduct by an official regulatory body for total peace of mind.

The caller refers you back to the original creditor for information.

A legitimate debt collection agency will know the details of the debts you owe, such as the date of default, amount due, account number, whose name the debt is in, or other information, and won’t ask you to refer to the original creditor for such information. If they do, it’s likely a scammer. Red flags should be going off in such instances so take extra care in what information you provide.

What to Do If You Think You’re Being Scammed

In such instances, we suggest that you get in touch with the original creditor (i.e. the business you owe money to).  The original creditor should be able to tell you which company it has hired to collect your debt, or which company has purchased it so you’ll be able to verify exactly who has been in contact with you.