AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Debt in all forms can be stressful and straight up annoying. Phone calls, snail mail, voicemails, even text messages from debt collectors.

But how do you deal with debt collection scams?

“If someone is collecting a debt, the first thing to ask for is proof of that debt,” said Janna Kiehl, President of the BBB of Amarillo. “The company must send you proof if it’s real.”

How does it work? The BBB said scammers will call and say they work for a loan company, law firm, or government agency claiming they’re collecting money.

“Definitely don’t give out any information, don’t give any credit card information and of course no banking information, because they can use that to take money out of your account,” Kiehl emphasized.

I got the chance to put these tips to use by getting a front row seat in dealing with one of these scammers who randomly called me earlier this week.

The man on the other end of the line advised he was calling from a law firm, which after an extensive Google and phone search, turned out to be bogus.

He said he was calling in regards to check fraud on a loan that I took out with Check N’ Go. Of course, I don’t have any outstanding loans with Check N’ Go.

Once I started pressing him to provide validation of me owning this debt, he fumbled and made excuses. I repeatedly pressed him to provide proof in writing, he finally unknowingly admitted, he doesn’t have it.

Kiehl adds, “if somebody can’t provide you with the necessary documents that are requested, then definitely just hang up the phone, because it’s not a real debt collector.”

She also emphasized for everyone to do their detective work when it comes to debt or potential scams.

Regularly check your credit reports, and if you get a call about debt you’re not sure is yours, you can call the BBB at 806-379-6222 with any questions.

Finally, if you get a call from a number you don’t know, simply don’t answer the phone.