What Information Can Be Found on Social Media?The better question might be “what information can’t be found on social media?” Many debtors, whether an individual or a business, regularly post on social platforms and disclose information about themselves, their schedules and their potential income. A simple search on Google or Facebook can teach collectors a great deal about clients, including where they live, where they went to school and contact information. What other information can be gleaned from social platforms?
- Status updates that reveal information about debts or routines
- Photos and public posts about assets
- Daily schedule information
- Phone numbers and emails
How Can You Use Social Media for Collections?
- Use a reverse email search on Facebook to locate a debtor and gain specific information. This is particularly valuable if someone has a generic name, like John Smith.
- See where debtors “check in” on social media. This can be useful for seeing what debtors are up to and getting a gauge on whether or not what they are telling you is aligned with reality. Check-ins can also give you a glimpse at a debtor’s daily routine.
- Sign up for alerts on specific names or company names so that you will be alerted whenever there is an article or blog posted.
What Are the No-Nos of Using Social Networks to Collect?
- Never request to join a debtor’s social networks or friend request them on Facebook.
- Do not initiate contact with a debtor using social media without making all necessary disclosures.
- Do not use friends and family members to gain access to the debtor’s social networks.
- Never publish a list of debtors who have outstanding debts on your social networks or any social network. A list can include “tagging” the debtors and not using their legal names.
- “Catfishing,” or posing as someone else in order to gain access to the debtor’s information, is completely forbidden.