Their “debt” collection days are over

Calling people and pushing them to pay debts they don’t really owe?

Posing as law enforcement and fake government agencies like the “Federal Crime Unit of the Department of Justice”?

Threatening to sue or arrest people — or tell their family and employers about a debt?

Reciting people’s Social Security and bank account numbers to seem legit?

Yup, this fake debt collection scheme did it all, illegally collecting more than $5.2 million in fake payday loan debts. Today the FTC announced that under a settlement with the agency, defendant Kirit Patel and his company Broadway Global Master, which processed payments for the scheme, will be banned from the debt collection business, and money recovered will be used for refunds. Patel also has pleaded guilty to the real Department of Justice on charges of criminal mail and wire fraud.

So how can you tell if you’re being targeted by a fake debt collector? A caller may be a fake debt collector if:

  • you don’t recognize the debt
  • you can’t get a mailing address or phone number for the collector
  • you’re asked for personal financial or sensitive information
  • you’re threatened with arrest or told you’ll be reported to a law enforcement agency

You have rights when it comes to debt collection. Tell the caller that you won’t discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice," which has to include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If the debt is legitimate — but you think the collector may not be — contact your creditor about the calls. Share the information you have about the suspicious calls and find out who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt. If it doesn’t check out, report the call to the FTC and your state Attorney General's office.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I received calls on two separate occasions from Debt Collection at 800-507-0028, even though I am Debt free. I have tried to stop them by calling And requesting to be added to their "Do Not Call" List to no avail. Please help.

I takes a bit of time for the FTC to do their thing. My calls have effectively ceased. When one gets through, I tell them I'm on the list. If they call back, report it to FTC, Atty. Gen., BBB, local officials. MAINLY, don't answer the phone, seems to make me feel a little more in charge of my life by not getting scammed AGAIN!!!

Why doesn't the government pay to have this announcement published in all the major newspapers around the country at least a couple of times a year. Also require the companies that print or make available reproduction of tax returns to put a warning that IRS ALWAYS contacts people that owe taxes by mail. So unless you have moved and have not left a change of address at the post office, or changed your address on your drivers license, any calls from someone trying to collect money over the phone is probably not legit.
Several years ago I was watching TV and a prediction flashed on the screen that the fall of much of our personal wealth would be because of the COMPUTER.

I'm an accountant & I personally have received a phone call asking for tax dollars I didn't owe. Several of my clients have called me also and reported receiving threats for non payment of taxes not owed.

Public announcements should be regularly advertised about these fraudulent phone calls. Also be forwarned to NEVER give out personal banking information to transfer funds to any of these potentially tax fraud collectors.

Perhaps its time to enhance our social security numbers with some sort of passwords. We are such a naive and trusting society. And so many clever thieves are ready to take advantage of the unknowing.

You are almost totally correct. The IRS will always contact by mail first, but there are times when they will follow-up with a phone call. The IRS caller will always give name & ID number.

The gov'ts are out of money, US 18 trill in debt, and unemployment still flowing like the Euphrates. The Gov figures, you can afford a computer you can figure it out. While EBT cards are being handed out like tickets at a weekday summer game at Minute Maid park. Fight back, stop following the protocols, thats what the thieves want you to do, march along, fill out report, get new #, add to no call list, repeat. Figure it out, fight back, get names, anything, record calls, post, I am using an air horn when I repeat the number. Stop being victims. We may be not be as smart, but we do outnumber them.

My experience exactly, J.C. Penny's is saying that the IRS is coming to get me and my family after my son received a number of stitches for a defaulted bed-- we took those beds back to them--but we remained with the debt as if were to pay== the Supervisor agreed that they would remove the charges and fees--but instead it continued to climb--then once it was written off---and the time also expired--but then they sold my information and various companies continue to threatened me and my family-- demeaning us--rudely upsetting us---one came to our door and placed a hand written letter--we were told we would have to pay these astronomical legal fees-- unless we made an agreement to make installments-- J.C. Penny's stated well pay them--

However, this has continued over 14 years-- we still get harassing calls from medical collectors as well-- I have always reported my medicare insurance information, some companies refuse to accept it--and we are left with debt on our credit report as a failure to pay-- I have become ill in regards to the stress and loss- as well-. they have called our homes repeatedly sent us various of threatening mail--- and despite us asking them not to call or send any mail they continue--

not like I am trying to pay for anything that I have purchased, used or otherwise brought-- I became permanently disabled, and the hardship went beyond what expected because my life became seriously threatened from an assault and I haven't been able to go back to work since-- beside me being a single parent raising disabled children as well-- this all came together taken a toll on me-- when I was able to pay on other debt that I was in agreement to pay--- on several occasion I was turned away unless I paid the lump sum in which they demanded.. Thereby, those companies must follow regulation-- they need to get reimbursed from my insurance company-but as far as J.C. Penny's I do not owe them anything and would like for them to stop harassing our family-- My son is grown and still suffers with bad memories for his leg and often take on a hurtful personality when he is either reminded of his injuries and ask why haven't something been done--being scarred has caused him to neglect his opportunity to play football professional--and when I communicate that he doesn't have to show that part-- he really acts out--so we just try no to visit that--but I continue to get debt collect and scammed---

I someone purchased a car registration with my name and because I know them--nothing has been done--- I was attack and assaulted and now have 60 percent tear in my right arm making my life even more hecked--

Att&T just breach our agreement-- I explained I moved out of town due to this attack domestic violence and I neede a new home phone-- I requested a lan line becaue of my daughter and I disability, instead they gave me a voip--phone service and internet connected --- now the phone servie hasn't worked properly for seven month-- so after getting harassing calls and blocking call I was told that my information was compromise- and I should go to the police -- the police said its nothing they could do call the Trade Commissioner--when I email the information I am prompt to go to the credit bureu, but Its difficult to understand and complete the long process--now my phone line was supposingly linked to an access code and causing a cross line distrurbance and they were forced to change my number--- I have them on the phone now-- we been on here since 9:47 am it is now 1:49 pm. I asked them not to do this with the hours of hold and were still experiencing a long process to fix the issue--they continue to come in my home rewiring my home and moving my jacks and phone from room to room--just two weeks ago on Sunday they came out and the issue is supposed to be fixed--but I am stuck on the phone because after I share this very sensitive information about my privacy and domestic violence-- and my number needing to be private-- I just learned that they have published the number though their notes states it's critical for me to have it private and a lan line--but I was told it's impossible for me to get that now that they are going to be obsolete... they are now requesting since they error again with my privacy that my number be changed again.. so this is why it is almost 2:00 pm and were still on the phone---and I request more than once for them to monitor and investigate these things--and they haven't-- such a long list--- I will communicate more upon you responding--- oh-- also over the internet I was told I had been hacked and must call various numbers and pay to get it fixed-- I contacted my server provider inregards

There are places to go for help about the problems you describe.

1. If you have old debts, a collector may not be able to sue you to collect. A debt collector has a limited number of years — to sue you to collect. That's called the statute of limitations. This FTC article tells more about old debts, called time barred debts.

2. If you send a debt collector a letter telling him to stop calling you, he has to stop. If you have problems with a debt collector who won't stop calling after you send a letter, report that to your state Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

3. If you need help managing debts, you could work with a credit counselor. Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service run non-profit credit counseling programs. Or, ask your state or local consumer protection agency for referrals. This FTC article tells you questions to ask before you choose a credit counselor.

4. Resources on domestic violence are available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

5. A legal aid lawyer might help you.

6. The federal government has a program to give discounts on telephone service to some people. To see if you can get the discount, go to Lifeline telephone service.

7. For help with your identity theft affidavit, call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357.

WOW.... Thank you for all the information and links. Very much appreciate your hard work. Regards.

Now get credit card services they called 2-3 times per day and i tried do not call registry w/no results!!!

Verizon Wireless calls 3 - 6 times daily trying to collect a bill from someone who does not live here. I told the lady once that the person doesn't live here, and to please remove my home phone. She said that it would take at least 72 hours to remove my munber. That call took place over a month ago. Still receiving the debt collecting phone calls.

Send an email complaint to you stste Attorney General's office.

So I've been getting these emails for years, I know their fake, I monitor my dents and credit on a monthly basis. And very closely with a fine loop. But these people keep emailing me, I can't seem to spam them and I can't seem to get rid of their emails. What do I do? Can I forward to someone?

You can forward spam email to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov, and delete the message from your inbox.

Sorry but due to the overload of emails of spam that u get or got because of me from sending u guys all the spam emails I get, that process is now slower then ever. I recommend either switching email providers and getting gmail. When u hit the report spam on a email that gets sent to your inbox, the next time they send a email it goes to the spam folder

What about the company Advance Cash Services(ACS) or ACE. Everytime I pay one so called bill off the find another one. They then start threatening to put my SS on hold, take me to court within 7 days or have me arrested. There are at least seven(7) people with seven different email addresses sending over 600 emails and usually two to three at the same time. They have used law enforcement, lawyer, president, CEO as different titles. Now both ACS and ACE are threatening at the same time yet they claim to be working for the same companies. I pay off one the other says that's not our bill and you still owe. I just paid , supposedly the "last" one sate suppose to mail me my final confirmation number by mail. They will not give me an address to find them. They never give me a complete name the last one was a William Chen in the ACE Law enforcement. I have been in contact with you all, this is my seventh or eighth complaint I have written, paid out almost $8,000. I am afraid that if I don't pay them I will lose my pension/SS and I need that to survive, suppose I don't pay it and they stop my checks? I wouldn't be able to pay my utilities, phone or buy food. I have never been to court before or had this problem. They are robbing me blind and I'm scared to death if I don't pay. one

You might be dealing with fake debt collectors.  They might be trying to scare you into paying money that you don't really owe.

Here are signs that someone is a fake debt collector:

  • he says you owe a debt that you don't remember
  • he won't tell you his mailing address or phone number
  • he ask for personal or  financial information
  • he threatens to report you to law enforcement

If they call again, tell them you won’t talk about any debt until they send you a written "validation notice." The validation notice has to say the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and tell your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If they won't send you a written validation notice, you can stop talking to him. You don't have to keep paying.

Call your state and local consumer protection agencies for information about handling debts in your state.

Oh my that sounds so much like the people that are calling me. They call from different numbers (10 different numbers now that I'm counting) each claiming to be another company. They refuse to give an address, they refuse to give me a license to collect debts in TN. One person threatened me and called me a deadbeat, thief and swindler. I am a cancer survivor and I am not a novice with the debt collection practices and they meet none of the requirements. In particular the phrase "this is an attempt to collect a debt etc.." that they must say. I have bank statements going back 10 years I told one women she said I doubt that I said oh ya I really do my bank archives them and they are available at anytime. She said well send them in I said take me to court and lets take care of this once and for all and she said we will good luck and hung up. Each time I've told them it's fraud and I'm going to file a lawsuit against them myself and to send it on to the courts. I never get a notice to appear and then a call comes from another claiming all the same nonsense and when I say I told you to send it to the court she says we have never called you before. Really unless you are certain you didn't repay one of those loans I would insist on written proof before giving them one more dime. If you happen to determine this is fraud call your bank immediately and tell them you believe your are a victim of identity theft and fraud and see if they can pull those payments back as wire fraud. Best of luck!

I am getting the calls too at work and cell. So now I call them back and let them hold, cuss at them just like they did me, call them losers, talk trash so I am harassing them right back.

I sincerely hope that you have stopped paying them. ACS is a scam. Please do some research on them. I hope you can collect at least some of your money back. I got mixed up with them but before I paid I realized the whole thing was a fraud. Please report them ASAP and sever all contact with them.

I filed

This is just one of the many faces of debt collection scams going. There are still a number debt collection scams going on within this country and abroad - like India, Thailand, and even Australia. While the FTC or CFPM may be able to nip some of them but there are still a good number of scammers that are operating daily targeting Americans as their victims.

This just happened to me a few months ago. Now I am extremely concerned. Suggestions on who I should contact? I have been scammed :(

Please 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.

I've filed and filed and filed done

if I have 4 payday loans and cant offord to pay them what can they do to me if they wont except a reasonanle payment plan

You may want to talk with a credit counselor. Credit counselors can work with you to manage your money and debts, and develop a plan to deal with your situation.

Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service run non-profit credit counseling programs. You can also ask your bank or credit union or state and local consumer protection agencies for referrals.

This article tells more about credit counselors.

CHARLIE SEZ That's all fine and dandy, but what punitive penalties under the law are or have been taken? Aparently, a "slap on the hand is the only legal action against the perps ... Are there no criminal charges filed under federal law. A settlement of termination of practice seems inappropriately minor. Considering the fact that the perps can merely continue to bilk the public under a different guise. Is seems inadequate to me ... 'NUFF SAID

You'll find more information in the FTC's press release.

The release adds that in a separate criminal proceeding, Patel pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice based on his scheme. He was sentenced to a one-year prison term.

In addition, the court order in the FTC's case imposes a judgment of more than $4.3 million. Due to the defendants’ inability to pay, the amount will be suspended upon payment of $608,500, which will be used for consumer redress.

One year prison term is for first time offenders right? Up that to 5 years per $100,000 they scam. Then the scammers won't do that again unless they are from a third world country. Also debt collection company tried to call me tonight. The number is 347-707-7478. If u google it, it's a fake debt collection agency.

Forgive me for asking (and this article is all great information) but how can he lack the resources to pay when he swindled people out of that much money? Even a year in Federal prison and repayment of that small amount just seems like a slap in the hand for the damage to people.

One down and many more to go. Thank you

Yay finally one of the fake debt collectors that use to call me has finally been shut down. Why does it take the government so long to get things done?

I most appled and just can not stop clapping my hands this was a great way of stopping the bugs that look for every weekness they can Find.

keep the information coming! thank you!

I'm not receiving phone calls but I am receiving emails

I get scams about loans i never took out. They are going to arrest me and put put a warran if i dont pay the full ampount or a sum from 3-500 dollars to settle it put of court. I get phone calls. But mostly emails from supposed federal officers or judges or cpurts. I just got one today tjey had personal info said i lost a claims suit i was never notified about. But i can pay 500 n change n it will be ssettled. I am tired of being scared npt knowing if these are real or fake n having to be worried about going to jail. Can someone tell me hoq to know of these are fake?

If somebody contacts you about loans you never took out, he could be a fake debt collector. A fake debt collector could have some of your personal information, and still be a fake.

A fake debt collector might:

  • tell you to pay for a debt you don't recognize;
  • refuse to give his address or phone number;
  • ask for your personal or financial information;
  • use pressure to scare you into paying, or threaten to have you arrested or reported to law enforcement.

This FTC article has tips to help you deal with fake debt collectors.

The criminals mentioned in the e-mail apparently stole $5.2 million. Their jail sentences should match the size of their theft and be many more years than those of a street mugger--I doubt that is the case because we still go after big blue collar crime less aggressively than the smallest street crime

ITS ABOUT TIME....FOR THIS HAS AFFECTED SO MANY LIVES WITHOUT HAVING ANY PRIOR RESOURCES OF WHAT TO DO NEXT. ITS LIKE BEING AFRAID ONLY TO ADHERE TO THEIR VIVICIOUS REQUESTS.

I got a telephone call on 9/16/15 from "Humble" Tel#281-973-2031 saying they were from the IRS and that I owed them money(which I don't)and to pay up. Thanks for Caller ID. You can go after them now. The funny thing is that during the GOP debate last night Donald Trump said his name was "Humble"

Reporting a phone call 914-760-4100. They reportedly calling on behalf of a civil suit filed against me....& it was on my cell phone which only very few people have. What do I do? It's also under a name I haven't used for any credit since 1993.

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

Blog comments don't go in the database.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS VALUABLE INFORMATION !

remember, using the postal mail in the process of this crime is something to report as well. you are able to return the mail to the notice of the postmaster, notice of collection fraud using the USPS. make sure to take a picture of the envelope before you hand it to the postal worker, do not just drop in the mail box, HAND IT to the worker. use the picture to file a complaint to the us post master. it is a felony to use the usps in the process of a a false collection.

I have been targeted by a third party collection agency. The automated voicemail said that I needed to call this number immediately and give them a case number. That myself or my legal cancel should call. Needless to say this was frightening. I called the number and gave them the case file, they then said that they had two complaints of payday loans. They were representing Laser Lending and JCC Processing. I have NEVER taken out a payday loan. I told them to stop calling me and that any communications needed to be in writing. They said that they had and I hadn't responded. The address that they had was an old address that I haven't lived at for 30 years. (It is my Mom's address) and an old email address, they had the last 4 digits of my social. This is very disconcerting that they had that information. Do not send these people money... check your rights under Fair Debt and Collection Act. If you have any doubt about whether you owe someone or not, check with a reputable credit bureau.

I been getting these call as well...and IT MAKES MAD. I have not called back hoping they will just stop. How do they get away with THIS!

I started to get these calls as well the end of august, beginning of September, they still wont stop calling. I even went as far as calling the County Exec office that they said they were reporting me to, my whole background is clean, and I don't know how to stop them from calling. Have they stopped yet?

I too am being harrased for the past 6 months or so by these same people. I am very conscious of my credit and any debts that I have and I KNOW that I do not have any outstanding debts for a pay day loan. They are also referring to me under my maiden name and they also will not send me anything in writing when I have asked for. Most recently, they are calling my sister and my husband (and God knows who else!) leaving messages on their voice mail leaving my last four digits of my SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!! I have put in a total of two complains with the FTC and my next step is to contact my local police and make a report. These people make me so mad!!

I just got a call saying they are the irs and im being sued of a irs debt, they have called before. But I don't think I have a problem with the irs. Is this a phony phone number? 206-900-8698 please let me know im so scared. Thank you,

The IRS does not start by calling people. If the IRS needs to reach you, it will send you a letter.

Scammers call people and pretend to be the IRS. They might say a fake badge number, or say the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, then demand you send money by a wire transfer or prepaid card.

If have questions about your tax payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and talk to an IRS worker. Or, go to the IRS website: irs.go

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