In response to recent reports about debt collection scams, the New Jersey Association of Collection Agencies (NJACA) has some advice if you are called or contacted about a debt. 

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"The scams that I have heard about are related to getting credit card information immediately, right then and there, with no other options," said NJACA spokewsoman Elizabeth Mallory.

By law in the Garden State, debt collectors may not make false representations and may not threaten to take action, such as a lawsuit, jail or wage garnishment against a consumer if they do not actually intend to seek such action.

They also must identify themselves and the agency they are working for.

"A legitimate collection agency is going to call you with certain hours, they're going to disclose who they are, they're going to confirm who you are and then they're going to talk about the debt in patricular," said Mallory.

Debt collectors, at least the ones on the up-and-up are not the public's enemies. They perform a legitimate function to help businesses and keep the economy moving.