Not unless your spouse is the one that owes the debt or you guaranteed the loan. A reference is not a guarantor. Did you get the name of the collector, the debt collection company and phone number? If it's not a scam, the debt collector is in violation of the FDCPA. They can't misrepresent they'll sue you when they aren't able to. You should contact a local FDCPA attorney to file suit on your behalf. It should be free because the debt collector is required to pay the successful plaintiff's attorneys' fees and costs.
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If I hadn't seen such nonsense, I'd think you were making this up. But I have.
It's possible that there isn't even a loan.
No, you are not liable on a loan for being a reference. This is a scam.
This is certainly a scam unless this was a spouse or you co-signed. I highly recommend that you contact your local consumer affairs or Attorney General's office. In my state which is Washington, our Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection and possibly the Department of Financial Institutions will take your information. They keep tabs on these issues fairly closely. For private representation you should contact an attorney.