New rule allows debt collectors to contact you using social media

New data collection rules went into effect Tuesday which served to expand the ways debt collectors can access debtors.

New rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now allow collectors to text, email, or direct message users on social media.

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The changes were made to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) during the Trump administration, and are intended to modernize the methods data collectors can use, the Washington Post reported.

While debt collectors will now be allowed to find you using social media, that doesn’t mean they will be allowed to comment on your posts or create anything the public could see. However, they can use the social media service to send you a private message or add you as a friend, USA Today reported.

Users should be wary of potential scams given this new information, according to NPR. Consumers are encouraged to verify the identity of those posing as collections agencies before transferring any funds.

Debt collectors don’t need your permission before they reach out to you using social media, and the new rules have no limits on the number of messages they are allowed to send you, CBS News reported.

The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals said in a statement that the change will allow consumers to use email and text messages to communicate about their financial services, rather than be forced to use outdated methods.