Debt Collectors Stalking Facebook
Fla. woman sues creditor who hounded her online
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2010 4:28 AM CST
Lawyers say a growing number of debt collectors are using Facebook to harass people.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick, File)

(Newser) – A Florida woman who says debt collectors used Facebook to harass her and her family over an unpaid car loan is taking the collection agency to court. She is seeking damages and an injunction preventing the agency from using social media to contact her, ABC News reports. Her attorney says that while the lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind, the practice is widespread and laws need to be updated to deal with it.

"It's an invasion of privacy on steroids," the attorney tells AP. "Normally, it takes a while for collection agencies to contact family members, or friends, or co-workers, but on Facebook you have a very powerful harassment tool at your fingertips." Other lawyers say they are receiving a growing number of similar complaints. One Chicago lawyer says his client accepted a friend request from a young woman in a bikini, only to realize it was a debt collector when the "friend" posted a message on his wall: "Pay your debts, you deadbeat!"