FTC refunds nearly $4 million from debt collection scam

In the largest FTC debt collection refund program to date, the FTC is returning nearly $4 million to people who were harassed by Asset & Capital Management Group, a debt collection business that used dozens of fake names. According to the FTC, the scammers used deceptive and abusive tactics to collect on credit card debt, including posing as process servers and falsely threatened people with lawsuits, wage garnishment, seizing their property and arrest. They also told employers, colleagues, and family members about the debt. All of these actions are against the law.

A federal court required the scammers to surrender the money that is being used for consumer refunds and permanently banned them from the debt collection business.

If you get a check, you have until August 29, 2015 to cash it. If you have questions, contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics Consulting LLC, at 1-855-312-3324. More information about the FTC’s refund program is available on the FTC’s website.

It’s important to understand your rights if you’re ever contacted by a debt collector. And if you believe a collector has violated those rights, the FTC wants to hear about it.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Just got one of those calls today from a guy claiming to be Officer Jake Thomas telling me to have two pieces of I.D. ready when he and the sheriff come to serve me papers because they are on their way.....what a joke????....What for I don't have a clue.....IDIOTS!

I get calls starting from 7:00 in the morning and all day long and into the evening hours. Midland is the most threatening. I have some others but I don't want to list them him here. So what do I do now?

If you ask them a debt collector in writing, he has to give you written verification of the debt. The FTC’ s Debt Collection article has information about your rights if you owe a debt.

If a fake debt collector is calling, read the FTC article about Fake Debt Collectors for tips to help you handle calls like the one you describe.

Report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ms Small, I have asked this on several calls! To which I'm told no, that they would provide me via email or mail once the debt has been paid, that it is paid in full! So then I would have proof of payment! Several years ago j did get into a bind and yes I did do payday loans! But to my knowledge they have been paid! What should I do since the names that are being used seem familiar

This article explains your Debt collection rights. For example, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.

Under the Act, every collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. This notice has to include the name of the creditor you owe, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

You might be getting calls from fake debt collectors.

A caller might be a fake if he asks you to pay a debt you don't recognize, or refuses to tell you his mailing address or phone number, or uses high pressure tactics to try to scare you into paying, like threatening to have you arrested or saying he'll report you to a law enforcement agency.

Report problems with debt collectors to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

Agreed, One thing is too easy to miss because we don't put it up front:
Fake callers do not follow the rules, so yes this request will often be denied.

If a caller refuses to give the company name and address and other information FTC states a legitimate business must give, you now know it is a fake. Tell them you are reporting the attempted fraud, and hang up and immediately report the call.

i have been getting emails for about 2 years from a company stating I owe them money, which they say I borrowed and refused to pay back. I don't recognize the name of the company and when I asked them to furnish documentation I get nothing. Can you shed some light on this? I've been forwarding the emails to Spam@usc.gov

If you ask them in writing, the debt collector has to provide verification of the debt in writing. The article Fake Debt Collectors provides tips to help you handle calls like the one you describe.

You can report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I just got one today,telling me that they were going to garnish my wages and contact my employer. I dont even know who these people are

Scams and identity theft has been a huge problem since the target problem and. Even checks sent toy previous address which was. Reported toy councilman and attorney generals office please help

Congratulations & God bless. Truly RS

I am so happy about this. As a paralegal in the consumer bankruptcy area of law, these scammers were contacting many of my clients which I would then have to call to confirm that they were legit even though I knew that any reputable collection agency would never use the scare tactics that these people did knowing that it was illegal. I contacted the FTC on many occasions after hanging up or being hung up on, abused and threatened by these criminals. Thank you so much for stopping them in their tracks FTC. I feel like this was a victory for me and my clients, as well.

these companies take your money and don't accredit your account. Then a year later you get a collection notice again claming you still owe the money through another source.At the end result you get your wages taken from you when you know they been paid over and over again .How is this legal?

When paying on a debt always get a copy of the canceled check, money order receipt, or if possible from the creditor themselves. This way you can prove you paid the debt you owe. Before they can garnish your wages, they have to get a court order judgment, which means they must take you to court, and PROVE you owe them the money. All you have to do is show up and give the court this payment record and you’re good. Most of the time people get the court summons, and don't show up for the hearing, this allows the plaintiff to get a default judgment for the amount that they claim without having to prove that you owe it, once judgment is given to them, you then are liable to pay this to them, even if you paid the debt before. Why? Because you failed to go to the court room and question the claim against you.

we have been horribly horrased by west assest mgmt company . many times a day and on weeekends i had a running list of times called . it gotso bad, we are non collectable due to being totally disabled and we have told them we have 2 insurance companys paying for our medical bills, we were threatened in many ways and yelled at and still going on not that long ago has went on for over two+ years

It’s important to understand your rights if you’re ever contacted by a debt collector. And if you believe a collector has violated those rights, the FTC wants to hear about it.

Hello, These people find family members that has same last name and ask do you know this person, she owes a debt from a loan and if she doesn't return my call the sheriff will be at your door today. Then I asked what company did I take a loan for and when. He told me 04/2011 and a name I've never heard of. In that time frame I know that I didn't take a loan out. I lost my mind, I said send whoever that you wanna send, I'll be waiting and in the mean time get off my line.

his is fantastic! FTC is doing a great job. It's nice to here the good guys are winning and thioses bad guys should do some serious jail time.

I'm being harassed by a company called Focus Receivable. They call me from 866-664-2512, Then they tell you to call another number when you listen to the voice-mail. They said it's an attempt to collect a debt, but they don't say who they are looking for.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

I would like to be included in the lawsuit. I was contacted

The FTC is in the process of returning money now. If you have questions about the refund program, contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics Consulting LLC, at 1-855-312-3324.

Great Job FTC. I am presently in the early stages of litigation with another debt collection firm that is a real problem. I'm surprised that the Fed doesn't hit some of these firms with a RICO case. Have a good day.

Did anyone from Asset & Capital Management Group, a debt collection business went to prison???

This page explains what happened in FTC's case against Asset & Capital Management Group.

Is this a true check. I am very cautious when it comes to things like this.

If you get a check from the FTC and you have questions, call the company that is working with the FTC to distribute checks. The company is Analytics Consulting LLC, 1-855-312-3324.

If you get a check, deposit or cash it within 60 days of the mailing date.

I have had Scammers Wipe out my Checking Account on SEVERAL occasions! Nobody has given me anything back! The calls pour in, as the FTC has done Nothing to Curb them, nor Stop them! If you allow a Criminal to steal, they Continue to do so...some have my Last four digits of my SS#, some call Relatives , wanting info, for my whereabouts to send a Warrant! Some are Loan Solicitations! Stop the Madness Already!

If you are paying a hospital each month and they're cashing the checks, can they suddenly turn you over to a collection agency? Also, the agency shows up as "Telemarketing Services"! Deceptive Trade Practice?

Contact the hospital if you have questions about your account, and whether any payments are past due. Ask if the hospital is using a collection company to collect past due bills.

I keep getting these calls with messages about serving me at home or work for their client. They only leave recorded messages even when I answer the telephone. I have gotten these calls daily on my cell, home, and work telephones. WHERE CAN I FILE A COMPLAINT!!

You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

An elderly friend of mine was contacted by a group identifying themselves as "Hamington and Barnes" a few weeks ago and threatened that they suing her for an overdrawn account she had 10 years ago. Despite not ever having overdrawn an account she settled with them and paid them $752 and now cannot afford to pay her mortgage. She lives on meager social security. What can she do?

If she gave out her bank account or credit card number, she should contact her bank or credit card company.  If a scammer has her account numbers, he can take more of her money.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint and to your state Attorney General’s office. Your state attorney general or your local social services agency for older adults may have ideas about assistance for your friend. There is a website to help older adults find benefit programs to help pay for medication, health care, food, utilities and more. It's benefitscheckup.org.

About a month ago I got a call stating he was from the county court office and I had allegations against me that I owed a payday loan from back in 2009. Like "Sug", I too, got in a bind in the past, but recently have been trying to get everything cleaned up (and I thought I had). so I was not even thinking and decided to clean this one up as well and gave him a payment info for installments. Now, I know this was wrong so no judging please. I then double checked all my records to find that I had no such debt and called the back and got they payments blocked. I then had to change my home phone number because they were calling saying they were coming to arrest me, take my kids away and basically take my house (that I now own). Once I changed my home number (june 21st) I was getting no more communications. That was until yesterday, I got a private call on my cell phone stating his name was Paul Meyer with a private currier service and he is done playing games with me. Be at work between 12 and 5 tomorrow with my supervisor and two forms of id to be served with papers and publicily humiliated. (HIS WORDS) Now, since I am a stay at home care giver to my adopted special needs son, I was not worried about the public humiliation part. But I whole question is... How do I get these people to STOP bothering me. The phone number they used is 402-413-9300, but the money they took at first was taken from the bank using the number 770-217-3348. Again, since I wisened up right after the call and called the bank, they reported it as fraud, refunded my money and change my financial information. NOW I ONLY NEED TO GET THEM TO STOP HARASSING! Can't I get them arrested some how?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and contact your state Attorney General’s office. Your attorney general's office can tell you more about specific laws in your state about fake debt colletors.

I am still being harassed, threatened and bullied into paying a debt that they will not tell me who it's for all they say are we are Advance Cash Services, ACS/ACEz we are the mother company to over 500 cash services. Ok, which one of those cash services are you sending emails about, when did this take place and how much was it for? I get no answers instead I now get Final Notice we are sending out arrest warrant and taking you to court. They contact me when ever I get my penguin and SS check. I have bank statements saying that money has gone out of my account, I have receipts for Green Dot Cards and PayPal reload cards. I did borrow from some payday loans $3500 to be exact, but I have paid back almost $8,000. This company ACS/ACE has been an on going problem for two years now. I have used my savings, insurance money that was to go to pay on my account which I have now lost, and my 401. They have called my partying job, husband and family/friends to tell them I am being tried as a fraud. This is about my 8th complaint but nothing has happened yet I see other "companies" who have done the same thing being caught.

If you haven't already done so, report your experience to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I to have been scammed by this company CashAdvance saying the same thing. I sent them money as well through moneygram. The phone number is 909-999-5184. They have all of my information, and after the scam I did some research and saw a lot of posts with the same story. I am ashamed to be as naive as I was and pray that FTC will shut them down.

These are useful details for a complaint.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go in the database.

I received a notice in the mail from "Midland Credit Management, Inc" stating that I owe a debt of over $18,00 that I do not recognize. I am in good standing with my credit cards and in the past 10 years have never had a credit card/loan that high. I have not been contacted via phone. In researching Midland Credit Management I have found that they have levied several fraudulent claims against people saying that they owe money they don't. Please advise what I should do to address the situation and avoid being hassled.

If you ask a debt collector in writing, he has to give you written verification of the debt. The FTC’ s Debt Collection article has information about your rights if you owe a debt.

Report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Thank you for your prompt reply! Is there a template of the letter that I need to send? They are citing that I owe "FIA Card Services" the debt, which I have never had a credit card/loan nor been associated with. In my request for written verification of debt can I ask for all subsidiary companies? I want to avoid having them repeat that I owe "FIA Card Services" which I have no idea who they are.

The FTC’s sister agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has a library of sample letters that may be of help.

You also may want to request a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting companies. You want a copy of your credit report to help guard against identity theft. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.

If you find errors on your report — either inaccuracies or incomplete information — file a dispute. By law, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

Can i refunds mony

The FTC has already mailed checks to people who sent money to Asset & Capital Management Group. If you got a check, you should have cashed it before August 29, 2015.

If you lost money to a different scam, you can report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

I want to report a scam/fraud by ScoreSense One Technologies LP I am trying to recover a refund from them and they are not agreeing to a full refund only 1 month refund vs 33 months refund total of $989.35 vs $30.95

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go in to a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also contact your state and local consumer protection agencies.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

Yesterday I received a phone call from some people e said his name was john Lee and that his from the government federal agency and he tell me that I was pick from a random survey and that am gonna receive my money so he tell me to go to any money grams and deposit my money to them in order for me to receive my money so they tell me that by midnight my money would be transfer to my bank account!! And I am so worry cause if there not from the government federal and I just deposit my money to them so how am I gonna take back my money I deposit it to them !! Pls .

You are right to worry. This sounds like a scam.

The federal government is not giving away thousands of dollars in grants. A scammer might say you were selected in a survey, but he's trying to get your money. 

If you get a call like this, hang up right away. Remember, if you didn’t apply for a federal grant, the government won’t call and offer you one.

This FTC article tells more about government grant scams.

I think I just got scammed by one of these places today. I sent them $900 like an idiot and didnt even check up on them to see if they were legit. I probably already know the answer to this but Is there ANY way to get my money back if I can prove its a scam?

If you want to get a refund of money, you can contact the company. You can contact your bank and ask them to stop payment on a check or money transfer. If you gave your credit card number, contact your credit card company.

If you paid by wire transfer, you can call the wire transfer company and ask them to stop the transaction. Tell the wire transfer company you think there was a scam. If you sent money to a scammer, you probably won't get it back. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I keep getting (starting Dec 2015) calls from Jackson green group stating that I owe on a check for $20 that I bounced over 12 years ago. I've never heard of this debt previously & don't even think a company can collect on that old of a debt (if it is legitimate). Today when I told them they had the wrong person & ssn, & should send me a letter of this is a real debt, they said they were escalating my case (they use that word each call) & this time she said the would be coming to my house (and she listed my address). Has anyone else heard of this & what should I do?

If you don't recognize the debt, the caller might be a fake debt collector. This FTC article has tips about spotting a fake debt collector.

For example, a caller might be a fake debt collector if he:

  • wants you to pay a debt for a loan you do not recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number
  • tries to pressure to try to scare you into paying, threatens to have you arrested or says' he'll report you to law enforcement

My fiancé has been getting multiple calls today from a lady named Sandra Herr or Kerr and a supposed attorney named Timothy Hoffman. This is for an old payday loan from 4 years ago. Unfortunately we haven't been able to pay the remaining balance as we have fallen on very hard times, as did some of our family and we were trying to keep us all just eating and in a home. They keep going back and forth with him regarding turning it over to local law enforcement as a felony warrant. But then they call back again to try to get money. Someone called from the local sheriffs department but was rude and short and would not answer questions and hung up on us. They have told us he would have a 35000 bond and the debt isn't over 2000. They told us to money gram them the money and the name of the company we r supposed to send it to is called EPS. We don't know what to do, they keep calling and it is very stressful. Can someone please tell me if its a scam, I could answer more questions specifically, they have been very rude on top of threatening jail, and even told him to get ready and whatever money I have I should put on his commissary!

If you know you have a debt, you can contact the company you owe. Ask about your account. Ask the company if they hired the people who have been calling you. The people calling you might not be connected with the company you owe.

This FTC article about fake debt collectors has tips and information for you. Fake collectors may have some information about you, but that doesn't prove they're legitimate or have a right to collect the debt. A fake debt collector might:

  • refuse to give you a mailing address or phone number
  • ask for personal financial or sensitive information
  • try to high pressure you into paying immediately, by threatening to have you arrested or reported to law enforcement

You have rights when you deal with legitimate debt collectors.  Within 5 days after they first contact you, a legitimate collector must send you a written “validation notice” that says how much money you owe. The notice must include the name of the creditor you owe money to, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

You could tell the callers to send a validation notice. That's your right. A legitimate debt collector should send the notice.

What if they are claiming to be a mediation service? Do they still have to provide you some form of documentation before you agree to make a payment?

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (FDCPA), a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

Within 5 days after it first contacts you, a debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe. The notice must include the name of the creditor you owe money to, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

I have gotten a phone call from this mediation company saying I owe money for a payday loan from 5 years ago if I don't payment them they will have me arrwsted for felony frud

I think I may have a complaint against a collections company that was collecting a federal student loan debt. I ran into really hard times and went delinquent on a student loan debt. I tried to differ, but the student loan people advised they had JUST sent it to a collection agency. I called the collection agency, they said they had not received it yet.

I was homeless for a few years and when I finally was able to start working again, I filed my taxes. The IRS refund I was supposed to obtain was take for the next few years to the tune of $12, 000.00 - My student loan debt was only for $6,000.00. I asked and they advised the collection agency added collection fees onto the debt?

When I look at my credit report, the US Department of Education is still showing my student loan debts of 3K as closed and written off - Never paid. The strange thing is that I contacted the department of education and they are the ones that gave me the phone number of the collector that they had referred my account to.

I found this in section that explains my rights - - Unfair practices - Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not: •try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge.

I was not aware that the debt collection company used by the department of education was allowed to DOUBLE the amount of money you would pay on your student loan if you went into default. Is there someone I can contact to get this worked out? The debt is showing on my credit report as unpaid although it was actually paid over 6 years ago. Also, it was double the amount of my student loan, I would LOVE to have the extra 6 thousand dollars back if possible.

This article tells how to dispute errors on your credit report, and has sample letters you can use to contact the credit reporting company and the company that sent the inaccurate information to the credit reporting company.

This article has information about your rights related to debt collection, and what debt collectors can and can't do.

You can ask your state Attorney General’s office about debt collection laws in your state, and can report problems with a debt collector to your Attorney General.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes complaints related to student loans.

Hello. I just pulled my credit report and it is showing I still owe midland credit $1,795.80. I paid this in November of 2014. I had requested they send me a statement saying it was paid...never received in mail. I kept all of my records just in case and I have my bank statements to prove it. They gave me a number to call and when I do I get an automated message saying they are not available! Any advice?

You have a right to dispute errors on your credit report. This FTC article tells more about your rights and who to contact.

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.