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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is That Friend A Sleazeball?

American Scofflaw
Debt collectors are increasingly using social-networking technology to go after people in debt. Ever get "friended" on Facebook by a cute stranger? Think twice before you add them. Some debt collectors have been caught posing as random "friends" on Facebook.

According to a post on Consumerist last month, "Debt collectors are using cute chicks as bait on Facebook to track down and keep track of debtors." It told the story of one employee of a debt-collection agency, who after "friending" some 658 people, declared (rather bizarrely):

haha you guys i tricked you all my name is actually Emily and i work for cbv collections as a skip tracer i bet you guys got calls from them saying you owe money thats all my doing :) you want to call and bitch? i dare you to call me 604-[redacted]!!! I wait to hear from you :)"

Writing about the Consumerist story, blogger Angela Connor who writes at Social MediaToday, noted a trend in the Google searches that lead people to her site. "Here are a few I've seen in the last two weeks," she wrote:

1. "facebook debt collectors" (there are many instances of this one!)
2. "debt collectors are going to start infiltrating social media"
3. "Do bill collector's use LinkedIn?"

"This clearly is a topic on the minds of many," Connor wrote. "I have no idea who is conducting these searches (bill collectors or those trying to avoid them), but I know we will see this more often."

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