What To Do When You’ve Been “Tagged” for Someone Else’s Debt

Debt tagging occurs when collectors aggressively target the wrong person for a debt. This situation is usually caused by outdated information. These cases exact a toll on victims by potentially damaging credit and taking months to resolve.

Consumers can protect themselves by following these tips:

  1. Ask for it in writing. When a debt collector first calls, ask him to send a written notice.
  2. Tell them that they are wrong. If you don’t owe the debt, tell the collector he’s got the wrong person. Ask for the collector’s mailing address. Send a letter restating that he’s got the wrong person and ask him to stop contacting you.
  3. Keep track of all calls. Track any subsequent calls from the collector.
  4. Consider escalating the issue to the relevant authority. Collection agencies can be regulated by laws or a code of conduct, in regards to which you can usually raise a complaint. If applicable, request your credit report with the applicable agencies to make sure the debt hasn’t been mistakenly attached to your report.