How do debt collectors track you down

Initially they will get your contact information from your original creditor - this includes your phone number, Address and employment details - that your creditor has on file.

If they cannot find you using these details- they when then use the following tactics to find you.

    • Public records databases - They can access these through the internet
    • Access your credit file - Searching for your latest employment and address info - If you have recently changed address and signed up for utilities e.g electricity and gas or applied for new credit or new Job, these companies will do a credit check and your new address info when then be made avaible on your credit file. - best option to avoid this is put all bills etc under your partners name - have nothing under your name!
    • Ringing your employer - If they have that information
    • Facebook and all social media e.g Instagram, youtube, twitter etc (its important to make all these private)
    • Facebook - If they are confident they have your facebook they will then start messaging your family and friends and looking for any photos or messages, comments you are tagged in, in some cases they have even sent friend requests to your friends to try and trick them into getting information about. However they cannot disclose any personal information regarding your debt or even that you have debt.
    • Immediate family - If they still cannot find you they will then source your immediate family contact details e.g Mother, father and siblings, they would normally do this by Phone
    • Your neighbours - If they know where you live, but still cannot make contact with you they will then start contacting your neighbours
    • Data brokers - Whenever you sign up for something, fill out a survey, or enter personal information online, there is a possibility that this information is being collected by a data aggregator. These agencies gather purchase history and demographic information from consumers in order to sell it to the interested parties.e.g Debt Collectors
    • Government Agencies - Occasional some collection agencies may be able to gain access to information you have provided to government organizations.
    • Skip tracers. Creditors and collectors use skip tracers to locate people. Skip tracers locate people using traditional and high-tech techniques, such as telephone books, email address finders, MYGov CRN number searches, telephone company call records, public records, domain name lookups, military and Selective Service lookups, prison inmate lookups, professional license lookups, apartment locators, hotel/motel locators, business and corporate records, hunting and fishing licenses, and even eBay seller searches.
    • Pretexters. Pretexters get people’s personal information illegally, using false pretenses. A pretexter might call you and say he’s from a survey firm. He might ask you some questions to elicit basic personal information. When the pretexter has enough information, he calls your financial institution and pretends to be you or someone who is authorized to access your account. He gets more personal information from the bank.
    • Internet searches.They will search your Name, search your email, your email address maybe a giveaway as anything you have signed up to that is public e.g forums my expose you - I suggest do a quick google of your emails and your full name and also your name with out using your middle name to see what comes up and try and get the info removed from what ever platforms it is on. As doing quick google searches you can find anything from aircraft owners to high school classmates online. Even clubs, churches, and PTAs put their newsletters online now, so your affiliations could show up in an Internet search. Then the organization might innocently help the collection agency find you.