Latest Fraudulent Debt Collection Scam Reaches Nebraska
10/12/2015 12:24:00 PM
The scam is also related to payday loans reportedly owed by consumers.
Less than a week since the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced consumer complaints about a fake debt collector calling on payday loans, a similar scam is occurring in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance is warning residents of a debt collection scam involving calls to consumers about a past payday loan and threats of possible arrest if they do not make an immediate payment.
Reports from Nebraska residents reveal the callers are using consumers' personally identifiable information, including their Social Security numbers and old addresses, to attempt collection on the payday loan debt they reportedly owe, according to a news release from the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance.
The callers also use different company names from those that were the source of the alleged old payday loan debt as well as collection agencies, according to the news release.
In Minnesota, the state's Department of Commerce reported last week that it is receiving complaints from consumers about callers who appear to be affiliated with “Advance America,” “Cash Advance” or “Cash Advance Inc.,” ACA International reported.
Jamie Fulmer, the senior vice president of public affairs for Advance America, said the company recently learned about the scam in Minnesota.
“These scam artists, posing as Advance America representatives to con victims out of their money, are in no way affiliated with the company,” Fulmer said.
The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance did not report the callers are using specific company names; in fact, they avoid using the same name with consumers so they are not able to identify the source, according to the news release.
“The scammers often require some type of electronic payment by credit card, debit card, prepaid money card or ACH, in order to complete the transaction quickly,” it states.
Consumers, according to the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, should be alert for the following signs that a call is part of a debt collection scam:
- Aggressive language and demand for immediate action.
- Refusal to send proof of debt.
- Caller states they are in a legal department and can't transfer the call to another department, manager or company personnel.
- Debt is reported as from more than five years ago.
The Minnesota Commerce Department and agencies in other states are currently working to identify and track down the individuals responsible for the fraudulent calls and emails.
Legitimate debt collectors are not consumers' enemies. They are not interested in a debt that is not owed and it is illegal to make such threats as arrest or a lawsuit. By law, the collector must inform you of your right to dispute the debt and request written verification. Once sought, all collection activity stops until this proof is provided.
ACA International's Ask Doctor Debt website has resources for consumers to better understand debt collection and their rights.
This report is the latest in a string of similar complaints received by ACA members as a result of reported fraudulent actions by companies with a similar name. Stark Collection Agency in Madison, Wis. and RGS Financial in Richardson, Texas, have received complaints for months as a result of similar reported fraudulent calls.
Has your company experienced or heard about a similar scam or do you have ideas how to help? Let ACA's Communications Department know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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