When debt collectors attempt to collect their dues, they might use a variety of tactics to achieve this goal.
Several of these tactics are actually banned under the law. This includes tactics that fall under the umbrella of harassment and tactics that include manipulation.
Harassment vs. misrepresentation
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector misrepresentation. This differs from harassment in several important ways, with the directness of the tactics used making up a big part of this distinction.
With harassment, debt collectors are often much more overt. They want the victim to feel threatened and boxed into a corner. They want the person involved to know they are getting bullied and harassed.
With misrepresentation, on the other hand, the tactics often try to lead a victim into assuming or doing certain things without them ever knowing that they are being lied to. It is a more underhanded and sneaky method.
The tactics used
Among the tactics used, debt collectors may lie about various things that they think will get the victim to hand over money even faster. For example, they may lie that they have a warrant out for the victim’s arrest when they do not. They might lie that the victim will face eviction when it is not a discussed possibility. They might pretend that another debt collector is an attorney who can sue the victim, even when that is not the case.
And of course, they can lie about the amount the victim owes. If they think they owe more than they do, they are likely to act in a panic and try to pay it back even faster, after all. These tactics are designed to fool the victim and get them to act recklessly. They are also all illegal.