The jig is up for bogus debt collection and rate reduction operations

The FTC continues to crack down on fake debt collection and credit card interest rate reduction scams. We recently obtained a court order that imposes a $25.3 million judgment against the mastermind of two schemes that bilked consumers out of millions. 

In the first scheme, the FTC alleged the scammers set up U.S.-based financial accounts for a call center operation based in India.  The call centers unfairly collected payday loan debts from people who did not owe them, or owed them to someone else. The operation’s callers used threats, lies, and abusive tactics — all of which are illegal — to collect debts from people who applied for payday loans online.  Those people’s sensitive financial information later found its way into the hands of the scammers.

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector:

  • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address, and telephone number.
  • If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay!
  • Stop speaking with the caller.
  • Do not give personal financial or other sensitive information.
  • Contact your creditor. Read Debt Collection for a list of your rights.
  • Report the call to the FTC and your state Attorney General's office.

In the second scheme, the culprits falsely claimed that, for a fee of hundreds of dollars, they could negotiate significantly lower interest rates with consumers’ credit card issuers. The truth is, you have just as much clout with your credit card issuers as a company negotiating for you. You may get turned down for a rate reduction despite their promises.

If you’re having problems with debt or simply want some free tips to help you better manage your money, check out Money & Credit.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I GET HUNDREDS OF CALLS A DAY, FROM COMPANIES DECLARING THAT THEY JUST RECEIVED MY LOAN APPLICATION,AND WHEN I TELL THEM THEY HAVE THE WRONG
NUMBER, OR THAT I DID NOT SUBMIT A REQUEST FOR A LOAN, THEY WILL HANG UP AND CALL BACK LATER, DEMANDING PAYMENT FOR A PHANTOM LOAN THAT IS PAST DUE! THEY USE OBSCENE LANGUAGE AND THREATS. THEY ARE FOREIGN NATIONALS, AND CONTINUALLY CALL THEREAFTER. PLEASE ADVISE. THANK YOU!

Hi Steven, sometimes i get hundreds of these calls by lunch time. I would love to know why i get them because I'm on the federal do not call list and didn't apply for a loan.

I don't know why this information is not posted on the numerous website home pages that millions tune into every day - there are so many internet providers & websites that millions of people tag into every day - why can't this info be disseminated to the masses via the internet, your local tv news (for those that don't have computers - like our older population) -- this seems so elementary -- can't the FTC afford a
3 x 5 space in all the newspapers to share all this good and valuable info - again, especially for the people who don't have or can't afford a computer but do buy a daily newspaper??

I have been the recipient of many threatening calls from individuals with very heavy accents such as those of India or Pakistan. All give an American Name, such as Tom Stewart, and say I owe $500.00 or $800.00 for an online loan I never made and that they have to collect it immediately or I will be arrested in my place of employment in 3 hours and the police will drag me to the courthouse where I will be severely punished. They use many different names, one-way phoners, will not give an address but claim to be with "The Federal Debt Collection Bureau" or some other such name like "Federal Debt Defense Lawyers." I went through a year of such calls. In the end, I told an individual he could call me all he wanted; that I found his calls very amusing, that I was recording them for my own entertainment. The calls stopped. They like to say "we know everything about you, where you live, where you work, (I don't work, am retired), they read off an SSN and ask if it is mine (I say I don't know my SSN, but I don't think so). They threaten severe treatment by police, and give a deadline of an hour or two to pay off the fictitious loan.

The only place on the internet that I applied for a loan was with Western Sky loans in December 2011, or 2010, and it was declined, and I was sorry I had done that because they insisted on too much personal information which was later used against me. For all I know, Western Sky gave or sold my information to these scammers.

Western Sky and their related collection agencies were recently subject to a Federal Cease & Desist Order & lawsuit for violations of Federal and state lending law. More info available here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/western-sky-predatory-loan-new-york-lawsuit/ (just the first site appearing on Google).

My wife and I have been get a call form a guy named Emmanuel Carter claiming that we owe on a fast cash loan that we never took out. They are illegal in North Carolina. This guy even calls my father in law in Virginia claiming he is going to have me arrested. I called the FTC and filed a complaint and the FBI. The FBI was unwilling to take a complaint even though this sounds like a case of wire fraud or at-least an attempt at wire fraud. He has been calling from 704-612-5288. Unfortunately the government is not properly staffed to stop this man from calling. My father in law is convinced that I am some scam artist though and seems unwilling to listen to reason. These are scammers and nothing more. There is no evidence on my credit report that I am in default on any of my current loans. I wish you all a best of luck. Please report Emmanuel Carter to the FTC as often as possible. Thank you.

I had a guy call and say my husband's loan was ready to pick up. We recently refinanced our house but that had been completed already. He proceeded to tell me, after I said we didn't have a loan, that I was wrong and insisted he did. Then he said I wasn't who I said I was because he had spoken to the Mrs. In question and, "She was a lovely woman" ???!!! That my husband was having an affair because I was horrible, lol. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he said, why are you crying? I said, I'm not crying, I'm mad! And he kept telling me how sorry he was for me that my husband was having an affair. I told him to never call this number again (they had been calling several times a day for a week and I finally picked up). I was really mad at the time but I laugh at it now. They never called back.

Know your'e overworked and underfunded. just keep hittin those scamming scumbag cheats. Too bad NSA cant help out with a few bogus rackets. They sure must have the budget equipment and manpower to do it!

Great comment on disiminating the info. heck with all the psa announcement time available, it will help. just be sure the message isnt ripe for sending out bogus agency phone or email addresses and ask websites to not let it (the psa) interfere with clean websites. there's already enuf crap out there.

your captcha security word spell below this is wayy too hard to read on a smaller netbook screen

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