Zombie debt collectors use scare tactics to target Oklahomans

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OKLAHOMA CITY - When you think of zombies you likely think of the walking dead but now there's a new type of zombie targeting Oklahomans over the age of 55.

They're called zombie debt collectors.

They buy old, uncollectable debts for pennies on the dollar.

The problem is these zombie debt collectors use scare tactics to try to scare people into paying debt they actually do not owe.

Rick Goralewicz, an attorney with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, said, "People are getting scared by the aggressive approach and they are paying money on these uncollectable debts that they really don't have to spare."

The zombie debt collectors use scare tactics to con, most often, older Oklahomans into believing they have a debt they never paid.

Cindy Goble, an attorney with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, said, "It's scary. They don't understand. They don't know where it came from. They believe what they are told."

Legal experts said there are ways to protect yourself.

  • Know debt collectors are not allowed to harass you or use scare tactics to get you to pay.
  • If you don't remember the debt, do not acknowledge or pay anything toward it.
  • Experts say you should learn your rights and don't panic.
  • Seek legal advice, which you can get for free through Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.
  • If the debt is old, it's likely the statute of limitations has passed, meaning the collector cannot force you to pay.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma said the statute of limitations in Oklahoma is five years for a debt with a contract and three years for an unwritten agreement.

If you would like more information you can contact Legal Aid Services at (855) 488-6814.

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