The barrage of robocalls is about to get worse with a new frontier of attack: social media accounts. As if social media didn't have enough problems, a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule has gone into effect that allows debt collectors to reach out to people on Twitter, Instagram or wherever else they have online social accounts, as long as the DMs are private.
The new rules prohibit these companies from posting publicly on timelines, and they also have to identify themselves as debt collectors and provide an opt-out option.
The CFPB called the new rules a clarification of the 1977 standards. "1977. Bell-bottoms were popular fashion, Elvis passed away, the very first Star Wars movie was released, Jimmy Carter became president, and Steve Jobs introduced the world to the idea of the personal computer with the launch of the Apple II. We can all agree that a lot has changed since then," then-CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger wrote in an October 2020 statement announcing the creation of the rules.
"We are finally leaving 1977 behind and developing a debt collection system that works for consumers and industry in the modern world," she wrote.