Thursday 27 July 2017

Debt collectors banned from Facebook and Twitter harassment

The Office of Fair Trading in UK has told collection agencies not to use Facebook and Twitter following an increase in complaints about their aggressive behaviour. Debtors must not be contacted at ‘inappropriate locations’ such as hospitals, its advice also states.

Debt collectors banned from Facebook and Twitter harassment

The OFT issues licences to debt-collection businesses and can withdraw them if they overstep the mark.

‘Using social media is a new take on an old practice of dropping off a postcard at someone’s property,’ said Gordon Ramsay, of the OFT.

‘It has the potential to embarrass a debtor.

‘There have been visits to places other than a person’s home, including hospitals. That is inappropriate.’

Sue Edwards, of Citizens Advice, welcomed the OFT’s move and said she hears of ‘frequent cases of unacceptable debt-collection practice’.

‘We have come across instances of Facebook being used and a case where Friends Reunited was used to get a phone number,’ she said.

‘People being phoned at work is common and all of these methods are designed to embarrass a person.’