Privacy Tip of the Month

Office of Privacy Protection

California is the first state to have an agency dedicated to promoting and protecting the privacy rights of consumers. The Office of Privacy Protection was created by legislation in 2000 and opened in 2001. Its mission is to identify consumer problems in the privacy area and encourage the development of fair information practices.

Privacy Tip of the Month
Don’t be fooled by fake debt collectors!

The Office of Privacy Protection has been getting calls from around the country about phony “debt collectors.” These phishers and fraudsters prey on our fears, especially in tough economic times.

Fight the fear.  Get informed. 

Real debt collectors:

  • answer to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency; 
  • may not call you before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night;
  • are prohibited from threatening to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless permitted by law; 
  • can’t send the police for you (may take you to court); and 
  • must put their claims in writing and mail them to you, if you ask.
Federal law forbids debt collection agencies from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. California’s debt collection law applies similar bans to businesses that do their collecting themselves. California law also offers special protections to identity theft victims when collectors contact them about debts that result from the theft. See CIS 3: Identity Theft Victim Checklist

More information on debt collection:


Our Help center reports an onslaught of calls and emails from fake “debt collectors” using the name “JWC Law Group.” Hang up on these scammers – tell them nothing!

The Office of Privacy Protection also provides information for victims of identify theft. Visit their Identity Theft page.

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