My advice of the aforementioned companies, make sure the debt consolidation company is an agency of the government. Go to the Fair Trade Commission for help. If you are soliciting a lawyer use one that is local, one that you have seen with your own eyes, that has actually men and women going in and out if a building. As far as Payday loans go, they are illegal in most states and if you get it off the internet it is most likely illegal.
So back to the scammers... They way they work is this. They have your information and most likely the name and number of someone you care about it. They call you over and over again. If you don't answer, they eventually call the other person. If you are like me, that is when you call and confront them. They tell you a multitude of lies.
Here is a list of possible lies they tell:
You are going to get arrested- THEY CANNOT ARREST YOU OR HAVE YOU ARRESTED OR BROUGHT TO COURT
The are Affidavit Servers-AFFIDAVATS ARE NOT SERVED, EVER! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN AFFIDAVIT SERVER. NO AFFIDAVAT IN THE WORLD WILL LEAD TO YOUR IMMEDIATE ARREST. THEY WOULD NEED A WARRANT WHICH NEEDS TO BE SIGNED BY A JUDGE WHICH THEY DONT HAVE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A LEGAL COMPANY, NOR ARE THEY IN THE UNITED STATES. IF YOU DO HAVE AN OUTSTANDING DEBT IT IS NOT SOMETHING FOR WHICH YOU CAN GO TO JAIL.
They will insist they are a legal company, however their whole means of delivery proves that are not.-NO MATTER IF YOU ARE THE WORLD'S BIGGEST DEADBEAT OR IF YOU STILL HAVE YOUR COMMUNION MONEY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS. LEGAL, AMERICAN DEBT COLLECTORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE HARASSING PHONE CALLS, THREATEN YOU, TELL A THIRD PARTY THE REASON FOR THEIR CALL OF CLAIM THEY ARE AN AGENT OF THE LAW. ANY LEGAL COMPANY MUST PROVE IN WRITING THE AMOUNT YOU OWE AND TO WHOM YOU ORIGINALLY OWED THIS. THEY MUST MAIL IT TO YOU VIA THE USPS. A LEGAL COMPANY MUST TELL YOU ITS NAME AND ADDRESS. THESE PEOPLE WILL DO NONE OF THE SAME. THEY WILL JUST YELL AT YOU.
Do not pay them even if you want to, just to get them off your back, what is to stop then from calling you back in a week, month or year.
Eventually they will stop, it is not economically sound for them to waste their time o n you if you are not going to pay.
There are a few things you can do to make yourself feel better. This won't really stop the calls but it will give you ammunition. This people are counting on you being scared of them because you may have debts here and there, you may even have been on opposite sides of the law but believe me they are not affiliated with anyone who can incarcerate you. Anyway, here are some options:
File complaints with your state's Attorney General. A google search will bring you to their website. Also you can file online complaints at:
You can call your local secret service office. You can find that number at http://www.sercretservice.gov.
You can also call your state's banking commission. They may not help you that much but, they will assure you that you are within your rights.
Now, here are some other things that I am doing. I don't really recommend them because it may just antagonize the situation, but if you have thick skin and don't mind a good fight...
I spent a few days answering them every time they called. Sometimes calling them back repeatedly. I have asked them the same questions over and over again. I have emailed them article about their scam as well as certain sections of the laws against this type of debt collections. I have killed them with kindness, offering up cheerful banter instead of my credit card number. I have had them email me their credit card form only to forward it to the above agencies. They have threaten me and called me names, but oh well. I doubt they are going to spend the money on a plane ticket just so they can come beat me up. Again, they are in the business of stealing money. They are con men and blackmailers.
One more thing: They may call you at work. You are just going to have to suck it up and tell your employer. you are a victim of identity theft, it is not your fault you are being harassed!
Below are other great sites and articles about these people.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2010/01/ks_debt_collection.html latest release of information on this scam
Attorney General Darrell McGraw took the extraordinary step today of warning the public about a band of scam artists making threats to consumers who allegedly obtained Internet payday loans in West Virginia and across the nation. The consumers they threaten never obtained a loan at all or paid it off years ago.
Internet payday loans are short-term loans or cash advances, usually for 14 days, made over the Internet via interactive web sites and secured by an agreement authorizing debits of the loan and all fees owed from the consumer’s checking account. These loans typically charge interest rates ranging from 600-800 APR and are unlawful in West Virginia.
The scam artists, who speak English with a foreign accent, call themselves “U.S. National Bank,” “Federal Investigation Bureau,” “United Legal Processing” and numerous other phony names. They refuse to disclose real names and addresses and are believed to be operating “off the grid” from homes, automobiles, or from off shore locations or foreign countries, including India. Since the scammers have kept themselves purposely well hidden, thus far no law enforcement agencies have succeeded in locating or shutting them down.
The scammers typically pose as law enforcement officers, investigators, lawyers, and bankers and threaten consumers that they will be arrested for “bank fraud” or other fictitious crimes unless money is wired immediately. They simultaneously scare and confuse consumers by using meaningless legalese gobbledygook phrases such as, “We are downloading warrants against you” or “We are filing an affidavit against you.” Consumers who don’t immediately fall for the scam are warned, “Only God can help you now.”
The scammers almost always call consumers at work several times a day, and tell their supervisors, “Your employee has committed fraud and is about to be arrested.” Such threats have proven unsettling even to the most savvy consumers and employers who suspect the calls are fraudulent.
Attorney General McGraw stated, “Ordinarily my office protects consumers from fraudulent activities by seeking injunctions in court. But legal action cannot be taken until the scam artists can be located. Even then, it is unlikely that the persons behind the fraudulent calls and extortionist threats would obey a court order. In this case, the consumer’s best defense is to be armed with the knowledge of the scam so that all demands for money can be resisted, despite the false but scarey threats of arrest.”
McGraw added, “Because the fraudsters make a special point of calling consumers repeatedly at work, employers must understand that the consumers are innocent victims of a criminal enterprise and cannot stop the calls from coming. I also wish to assure the citizens of West Virginia that my office will continue to do everything possible to locate and shut down the outlaw debt collectors.”
More information about this fraudulent debt collection scheme is available at the Attorney General’s website, www.wvago.gov/internetloanscam. Any consumers who have been threatened by these persons or wish to file a complaint about another consumer matter may do so by calling the Consumer Protection Hot Line, 1-800-368-8808, or by obtaining a complaint form from the Attorney General’s web site.
It's a debt collection scam. And all their threats are false and illegal.
This is a very active group of scammers, many of whom are calling from India (and probably other countries) and are in cahoots with a group of American pay day loan scammers. They attempt to extort money from consumers with a myriad of false and illegal threats, and alternately pose as debt collectors, federal and state law enforcement officers, lawyers and bankers. Their trademark is to use meaningless legalese gobblygook phrases like "We are downloading warrants against you" or "We are filing an affidavit against you." Another trademark phrase is to threaten the consumer with something like this ridiculous phrase: "If you don't pay then only God can help you."
Typical of many financial scams of this variety, they usually demand payment via Western Union or MoneyGram or credit card. They use any number of phony names such as US National Bank, Federal Investigation Bureau, US Legal Investigation Bureau, Hopkins Law Office, United Legal Processing, Morgan Associates, United Pay Services, National Processing, White Collar Crime Unit and many more. These criminals also use many phone numbers from many area codes; they're probably using caller-id spoofing software and/or VoIP to disguise their real location.
The main thing to remember is that anytime someone calls you demanding money to prevent your arrest, or demanding your lawyer's name so they can sue you, it is ALWAYS a scam. No debt collector (let alone criminals posing as debt collectors) has the authority to have anyone arrested for anything. (And it's illegal to them to threaten such a thing.) And since these foreign dirtbags routinely impersonate law enforcement, it's also important to remember that American law enforcement officers aren't in the business of debt collection. (Debt is a civil, not a criminal, matter.)
The bottom line is, these are criminals trying to steal your money.
A consumer posting a complaint about these same scammers at http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-718-831-7157 notes that 718-831-7157 is associated with an India-based "outsourcing" telephone bank. Though a reverse search on WhitePages.com shows that 718-831-7157 is an unlisted land line in New York City, information on Debtbuyers.Com shows that that number is used by India-based Intellisourze. (Source: http://www.debtbuyers.com/debtbuyers.asp ) My guess is that it's a VoIP phone number.
This is another piece of the puzzle that fits in perfectly with other information about this scam. There are some reports on 800Notes that have suggested that the crooks behind this offshore scam are also the crooks behind the notorious Bass/Ellis Crosby & Assoc./States Predisposition scams in Florida and Georgia. The interesting thing is that the number of complaints on here about the US National Bank/US Legal Investigation/Federal Investigation scam skyrocketed *after* April 7, 2008 when Florida obtained a $1.3 million judgment against Ted Ellis Crosby, shutdown his operations and barred him from ever conducting debt collections in Florida (Read http://myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsrel ... 5257424005858A6 ) There's certainly a good chance that the crooks placing these calls from India are doing so on behalf of the American crooks behind the Crosby/Bass/States Predisposition scams.
Here's the contact information for the phone bank in India:
701, Sapphier, Nr. Cargo Motors,
C.G. Road Navrangpura,
Ahmedabad - 9. (Guj.) INDIA.
A check on the domain name "intellisourze.com" shows that the website and name registration was created on May 8, just one month *after* the Crosby scams were shut down in Florida:
Domain Name: INTELLISOURZE.COM
Registrant: Pragra Infratech Pvt. Limited.
908, Aksaht Tower, Nr. ICICI Bank
Opp. Rajpath Club, S.G. Highway
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India 380054
Creation Date: 08-May-2008
Expiration Date: 08-May-2009
Domain servers in listed order: ns5.znetindia.com ns4.znetindia.com
(Source: http://whois.domaintools.com/intellisourze.com )
Though scam calls from these crooks have been going on long before May 8, the frequency of complaints about these calls increased considerably after Crosby was shut down in early April.
This is conjecture, but appearances suggest that Crosby and company were originally running a two-pronged payday loan scam operation -- with some calls being made from Jacksonville, Florida and other calls being made from a phone bank in India (and possibly other countries); then, after the Florida Attorney General shut down the Crosby scams in Florida, the Crosby crooks transferred most of their scam efforts to the India phone bank.
If you are targeted by these criminals, be sure to report them to all the following federal and state law enforcement agencies (most of which you can do online or over the phone):
1. The U.S. Secret Service is responsible for protecting the country's financial infrastructure and payment systems from international and domestic threats. Call or write your local Secret Service field office to alert them to the details of this attempted extortion. The addresses and phone numbers for the local Secret Service field offices are listed at http://www.secretservice.gov/field_offices.shtml or in your phone book.
2. Alert the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov Be sure to tell the FBI that you are being targeted by extortionists over the phone. And if the crooks claim to be law enforcement or lawyers, officers of the court or bankers, be sure to include that information in your report.
3. File a complaint with your local police. Most police departments will take a report over the phone. Be sure to tell them that you're being targeted by an extortionist and give them all the details.
4. File a complaint your state's attorney general, the contact information for whom is at www.wvago.gov
5. File a complaint online with The Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en
If these crooks call back, promise them nothing, pay them nothing and tell them nothing other than that you know they're a scam and that you've reported them to law enforcement. (And be sure to report them to all the agencies above each time they call you.)
What does a debt collector need to provide as debt validation?
- Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt. This is basic contract law. It is very difficult to get a judgment without a direct contract between collection agency and the original creditor.
- At a minimum, some account statements from the original creditor. If you really want to get sticky, you can pin them down on the amount of the debt by requiring complete payment history, starting with the original creditor. This requirement was established by the case Fields v. Wilber Law Firm, Donald L. Wilber and Kenneth Wilber, USCA-02-C-0072, 7th Circuit Court, Sept 2004..
- Copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application. However, account statements from the original can fulfill these requirements.
Nor can they ask you to pay for digging up records of your debt:
So, if a creditor can't verify a debt:
- They are not allowed to collect the debt,
- They are not allowed to contact you about the debt, and
- They are also not allowed to report it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Doing so is a violation of the FCRA, and the FCRA states that you can sue for $1,000 in damages for any violation of the Act.
The scam artists have most recently identified themselves as ACS, National Affidavit Processing Department and United Financial Crime Division, but may use additional phony names. It appears the phone numbers used by the scammers are "spoofed" numbers, so that the number appearing on a consumer's caller ID is not the actual number of where the call originated. It appears the calls in question may be originating from outside the United States.
When questioned, the individual calling refuses to disclose the full name or address of the collection agency he claims to represent. These scammers have been able to provide consumers with identifying information, such as the consumer's social security number, home address, e-mail address, names of family members and the consumer's computer IP address.
Since the callers are able to provide valid personal information, consumers may become confused and believe they are being contacted in regard to a legitimate debt.
If the initial debt collection scam is unsuccessful, the scamsters keep at it, often calling back months later posing as law enforcement officers or officers of the court. Typically, they threaten the consumer with arrest for fraud or some other fictitious crime unless the consumer agrees to immediately wire money via Western Union.
The phony cops try to frighten and confuse consumers into compliance by using legal sounding terms such as "We're filing an affidavit against you" or by stating a lawsuit has been or is in the process of being filed against the consumer.
A hallmark of each scam has been calling consumers repeatedly at their place of employment. This scam hit home when an employee of the Kansas Attorney General's Office was repeatedly called both on her cell phone and at work.
Despite the employee's repeated verbal disputes, the caller refused to provide any identifying information to allow her to send a written dispute. The scammer also continued to call her numerous times a day regarding a payday loan she denied obtaining. Two months later, she was again contacted by telephone by an individual identifying himself as an "officer".
"I denied owing the debt and refused to pay without being provided validation of the debt," said the employee. "I was then told, 'If that's the case, I will have local law enforcement come to your place of business and drag you out kicking and screaming.'"
"It is important for consumers to know their rights under the law," Six said. "If a consumer is receiving calls from a debt collection company and believe it is a scam, I encourage them to contact our office immediately."
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are required to send consumers a written notice within five days of the initial contact. The notification should contain information such as the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed and a statement informing the consumer they have thirty days to contact the debtor in writing to dispute the debt or request validation of the debt.
In addition, legitimate debt collectors are prohibited by the (FDCPA) from making false or misleading representations, such as the consumer has committed a crime, implying nonpayment will result in the consumer's arrest, or using the threat of violence.