Bill collectors trolling social media sites

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn, can serve as productive and efficient means of staying in touch personally, professionally, and politically; just ask young people in Egypt. However, careless use of such sites poses very real risks to one’s personal privacy, and potentially one’s employment. In fact, lawyers, bill collectors and credit investigators are using these sites to gather information on consumers and others; and using that information in ways the targets probably would not like.   

In a recent article, for example, Paul and Sarah Edwards explained that “[p]eople say a lot about their lives on social media, which is how these sites can be used to determine if an individual or company is credit-worthy or, when they are in arrears, to get a bead on whether they can pay their bills.” 

This is just one more vehicle creditors are using as they continue to become more aggressive in pursuing debts. Some of these sites allow you to list your employment or contact information; and have the potential to cause serious problems if you are in a situation where you could have your wages garnished. Social media sites are becoming treasure troves of personal data for lawyers (government as well as private-practice lawyers) to build or support prosecutions or lawsuits. 

Those pictures on your profile or status updates about a new purchase, a raise or your income tax return provide creditors evidence about your ability to pay your debts. Michelle Dunn, an expert on credit and debt collection, explains, “[f]or one or two hours a week, you can obtain information that in the past you might have needed to hire a skip tracer to find.” 

These new sites can be useful tools for networking and catching up with old friends. But they can also put you at risk if you reveal too much information about yourself and your lifestyle. Disclosing certain personal information, despite the fact that you consider it “private,” could pose a very real threat to your financial future. Be careful who you are adding as friends, what you reveal about your spending habits, and keep your employer off these sites. You never know who is out there gathering information on you.

- by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

73 comments Add your comment

LA

February 9th, 2011
1:34 pm

“Suppose that is why they tolerate me, since I only contradict them.’

Yeah, but when you take up a notch, like I did, and totally mock them, Jay gets his thong in a wad and pulls out the “your banned” card. Heck, he didn’t even say why he banned me.

Supreme Being

February 9th, 2011
2:15 pm

Heck, he didn’t even say why he banned me.

Since he probably lacks rational thought or the ability to justify a position, I bet he took the usual leftist fall back position of name calling.

carlosgvv

February 9th, 2011
2:17 pm

LA, Supreme Being

1. What makes you think I don’t pay my bills?
2. If you really believe that about Democrats, you are even
dumber than I thought.
3. I never said I was smarter than anyone on this blog, just smarter
than you two losers.
4. Since there is no way you can or cannot know I am a Mensa member,
that statement just confirms your lack of intelligence.
5. I know and practice personal responsibility. Unfortunately, your
bank idols care nothing for business ethics.

LA

February 9th, 2011
2:35 pm

“1. What makes you think I don’t pay my bills?”

Never said you didn’t pay your bills. If you had a brain, you’d have know I was making a general statement with regards to banks coming after people who don’t pay their bills.

“2. If you really believe that about Democrats, you are even
dumber than I thought.”

Not that I care if you think I’m dumb, but this video proves my point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8

“3. I never said I was smarter than anyone on this blog, just smarter
than you two losers.”

How are you smarter?

“4. Since there is no way you can or cannot know I am a Mensa member,
that statement just confirms your lack of intelligence.”

No, it proves that you a troglodyte who is so insecure that you have to come on an AJC blog and pretend to be something you’re not.

“5. I know and practice personal responsibility. Unfortunately, your
bank idols care nothing for business ethics.’

I paid my house off years ago, Gump. I also don’t have any credit card debt.

Thanks for playing.

LA

February 9th, 2011
2:37 pm

“Since there is no way you can or cannot know I am a Mensa member,”

Your lack of any knowledge about how Banks and Credit Card companies work proves that you are not smart. Also, Mensa members don’t hang out on AJC blogs blabbing about how they are Mensa members.

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William Tucker

February 9th, 2011
2:44 pm

carlosgvv

What chapter of Mensa do you belong to?
What did you have to do to become a member?
How long did it take you to finish each test?

The reason I ask is because my wife is a member of Mensa and I know the ins and outs of how they work.

Mensa Smensa

February 9th, 2011
2:56 pm

carlosgvv

Why do you have to lie so much?

Supreme Being

February 9th, 2011
3:21 pm

Alas…I have been outed as a loser by an alleged Mensa member that cannot factually or clearly state a basis for his arguments or statements. I am devastated and bow to his superior intellect and will forever sharpen his crayons.

LA

February 9th, 2011
3:33 pm

“I have been outed as a loser by an alleged Mensa member that cannot factually or clearly state a basis for his arguments or statements.”

Yeah, she keeps stating that she’s a part of Mensa but her comments lead me to believe that she fell off the short bus one too many times.

carlosgvv

February 9th, 2011
4:07 pm

LA, Supreme Being

Trading barbs with you two stooges is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Since it’s obvious how clueless you are, here’s a hint. You’re the fish.

LA

February 9th, 2011
4:28 pm

“Trading barbs with you two stooges is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Since it’s obvious how clueless you are, here’s a hint. You’re the fish.”

OH NO!!!!!! The all-wise and powerful carlos has called me clueless!!!!!!!! LOL

Hey carlos, how’s about answering those simple questions that William Tucker asked. I mean, if you really are a member of Mensa then you’ll have no problem answering those questions.

Make sense, liar?

LA

February 9th, 2011
4:29 pm

“Since it’s obvious how clueless you are”

Clueless is pretending to be something you’re not.

LA

February 9th, 2011
4:31 pm

Supreme Being

carlos has just proved to everyone what a liar she really is. Yeah she’ll continue to call us dumb, clueless etc which is all she has. Remember, when left wingers can’t argue or debate, they resort to name calling.

Ron Mexico

February 9th, 2011
4:40 pm

carlosgvv

Speaking of clueless, you never did refute answer anyone’s questions regarding Mensa. You should really think before shooting yourself in the foot.

Supreme Being

February 9th, 2011
5:22 pm

Ron M…I really doubt he is capable of shooting himself in the foot since this mental giant claims to be busy shooting fish in a barrel.

LA – When he isn’t busy shooting fish…he is busy spending his rent money buying lottery tickets. Of course if he wins, he loses… since the knucklehead doesn’t believe in banks he can’t accept a check…cash only. Maybe he will win a million Mensabucks.

LA

February 9th, 2011
5:31 pm

Supreme Being

Yeah, carlos is one predictable person. All he does is name call and pretend to be smart. He’ll come back in, call us dumb and then announce that he’s off to his bi-monthly Mensa meeting at the Waffle House in east Atlanta. What’s really sad is the fact that he actually thinks he’s in Mensa.

[...] article is an excerpt from my book “Getting Paid using social media” and generated many blog posts and comments [...]

Al Gore/Kilgore

February 10th, 2011
8:02 am

LA: i think i speak for everyone when I inform you that your contributions to the blogosphincter are greatly appreciated. I love the way you spread your cheeky humor throughout the entire day. Your sense of the lyrical justice is just papsmearical.

Your wisdom is biblical. “A brown eye for a brown eye + a bluetooth4aBluetooth”. Solomonic.

“Common sense…..spare change”. Brilliant! That troll is toast, man. He’ll never venture here again.

“Clueless is pretending.2B something Ur not”. Better than a fortune cookie in it’s pandemic relevance. It’s really good that you post every half hour. Where have you been hiding yourself?

“Mensa….” An organization that would screen mental prowess? Wait’ll they get a load a U.

[...] Bob Barr at the Barr Code: [...]

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Joe

February 11th, 2011
12:21 am

I’m a debt collector, I don’t see what the big deal is. If someone is stupid enough to advertise their ability to repay their debts and is just being a spoiled brat about it and choosing not to, then more power to the hard working tax paying individuals in my industry. I rarely use facebook or myspace for skiptracing, but it’s proven useful in a few cases. I like Bob Barr, but I don’t understand where he thinks he’s going with this article. Is this article supposed to aide and abet those who owe money? Is Bob a debtor himself? I suppose there are a lot of “self-employed” small business owner types out there who consider themselves “libertarian” and who have gone under since 2008 and are plagued with bad debt. I suppose this article then speaks to a segment of Bob’s audience of which I am not part.

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