Consumer Alert: Fake Debt Collectors trying to scam consumers

by The CAB Man Texas on December 3, 2016

Dan Micawber at AF$PA / Payday Brokers has announced a Consumer Alert (and operator alert) regarding for a new round of Fake Debt Collectors circulating in our industry.  If you are a consumer who received a call from a debt collector that says you owe money to a “payday loan company” but will not tell you the name of the company or claims they are a member of the “Alternative Financial Service Providers Association” (“AF$PA”) – it is a scam.

All Debt Collections Agencies who comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act “FDCPA” must follow a very long list of rules regarding how contact can be made with borrowers.  One very specific issue with the FDCPA that is not being followed by these current scammers is that they must be able to “verify the debt.”  If they will not say who the debt is from it is not likely they have a contract to collect on.  A collection agency must disclose the name of the company that the debtor owes money to.  If they refuse – it is a scam.  If they say they are sending the sheriff or police – it is a scam.  If they say they can have you locked up – it is a scam.

Our CAB clients and members should be concerned about this as well.  One of the biggest sources of complaints at the OCCC is this kind of problem.  As compliant CAB’s we often times are lumped in with unsavory characters out there who google their way into becoming debt collection scam artists.  A bad actor can simply google search for payday loan and run into the AF$PA website or maybe even grab larger CAB’s name off the internet and start calling people saying they owe them money.  It is only a matter of time before they trick an innocent consumer into running down to the corner store and loading some money onto a prepaid card that sends funds directly to them in an Indian call center.

I have helped consumers on this issue and even had one conference me in with the scam collections agent.  I was able to shut them down in less than 30 seconds and enjoyed it immensely.  Most TOFSC members have the TOFSC Comment / Complaint line posted in their store – if you have any customers telling you they are encountering this problem please have them contact me at 214-293-8676 and we will get them going in the right direction.

Also, the Texas Attorney General’s Office has a website complaint service – report anything that you see to them.  Go here to learn more information:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint

This blog post was written by Michael Brown, President of CAB Consulting and the Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers.  He can be reached at 214-293-8676, or Michael@CreditAccessBusiness.com.

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