Home > Personal Finance > Despite Attention, Payday Scammers Keep Calling

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For years now, we at Credit.com have written story after story warning people about fake payday loan debt collectors. This February the Federal Trade Commission won a court order to close an operation that allegedly stole $5 million from American consumers using intimidation and threatening phone calls to collect on phantom payday loan debts, most of which never existed.

And just last week ABC News did an expose of the scam, detailing how criminals, mostly working from call centers in India, pose as representatives of debt collection firms. Many of the payments were processed by a California-based company run by Kirit-Patel, an Indian-American man who served as the front man for one of the schemes, the FTC alleges.

“I would say that all roads of this scam, or many of the roads of this scam, lead back to Mr. Patel,” Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC, told ABC News.

But the scam appears to be a multi-headed hydra. According to Credit.com readers, the harassing phone calls from fake debt collectors continue unabated, months after the FTC won its effort to shut down one of the criminal organizations behind the scheme.

“Today I got a call from a private investigator named John McCaffrey,” a Credit.com reader using the screen name “Kristen” told us in a comment to the blog on July 5. “He stated that I was to appear at my local county courthouse to take care of the matter. What was disturbing is that he also called my mother’s phone number and my sister-in-laws phone number, leaving the same message.”

There is absolutely no doubt that this call from “John McCaffery” is a scam. The most obvious red flag is that debt collectors cannot order anyone to appear at county courthouses. Only courts, police and sheriff’s departments have the power to inform citizens when they must appear in court.

Nevertheless, this type of threat is a common tactic used by fake payday loan collection scammers to place their victims under a tight deadline, and make it seem as though serious legal problems could ensue if the victims fail to make immediate payments.

“Often pretending to be law enforcement or other government authorities, the callers working with the defendants would falsely threaten to immediately arrest and jail consumers if they did not agree to make a payment on a delinquent payday loan,” according to the FTC.

A Credit.com reader using the screen name “Hank” wrote on April 19 to tell us that one scammer told him he owed $2,097 on an unpaid payday loan “and that if I did not take care of this that there would be a sheriff at my door to take me to jail,” Hank said.

To avoid arrest and jail, the scammer demanded that Hank reveal his credit card number, so that the “debt collectors” could take payments in $500 increments until the entire debt was paid.

Plain and simple: This is a scam, says Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com’s consumer credit expert.

“If you are being sued for a debt, you may be served. But they aren’t going to just ‘haul you off to jail’ simply because you can’t pay a debt,” Detweiler told Hank. “My suggestion? Ask for written verification of the debt, which you are entitled to by law. They won’t likely send it.”

Here are some tips for how to recognize a fake debt collector who calls you on the phone:

  • According to the FTC and many Credit.com readers, most of the fake debt collectors have strong Indian accents. Nevertheless, many of them pretend to have classically American-sounding names like “John Robinson” or “Mike Smith.”
  • The callers often claim to represent some vaguely official-sounding branch of the American justice system. For example, a writer for Credit.com received a call from someone who said he was from the “Brooklyn County Court,” which does not exist. Others have received calls purportedly from companies with names like “American Debt Services.”
  • Time pressure. Fake debt collectors often try to create the impression that these “debts” must be paid immediately, over the phone, to avoid arrest or jail.
  • Do you actually owe money on a payday loan? Oftentimes, debt collection scammers call about payday loans that were never actually received. In many cases it appears that the victims did investigate an online payday loan, often handing over personal information including their names and phone numbers. In other cases, victims say they did receive a payday loan, but that it’s already been paid.

If the phone calls you receive fit any of the above criteria, they are probably coming from scammers. Here are some tips on how to handle such schemes:

  • Immediately hang up on them. If you receive a phone call that meets any of the above criteria, hang up. If they call back, tell them never to call you again, and then hang up. By showing that you cannot be intimidated, the scammers are likely to move on to anther potential victim.
  • Do your research. “Check out the specific company making the calls,” Detweiler says. “A simple web search can often identify a company that is a fake. Firms often use meaningless names like ‘fraud investigation center’ to sound official.”
  • Ask for written documentation to confirm that the debt exists. If the caller balks at sending you documentation, he or she is a scammer. Period.
  • Never give out personal information. “Do not give your credit or debit card number over the phone to a collector that calls you out of the blue,” Detweiler says. “If you determine the debt is legitimate, consider paying with a cashier’s check or prepaid card.”
  • Most important: Do not be intimidated. No debt collector has the power to have you arrested. No collector has the authority to call your boss or your friends and tell them about your (potentially false) debts. And no collector can dock your pay or take money from any of your accounts without first providing written documentation that the debt actually exists. In fact, scammers have no power at all, except to annoy you. Remember this, and you avoid being intimidated by them.

Image: Memi Beltrame

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  • caty

    Hi, I dont know if this blog is still active, but i dont know what to do, i received a phone call from a company saying that i didnt pay a loan done on august 2012, a month ago was the same story that time i felt for it and i paid them, now this new company is claiming that if i dont pay them in 48 hours they will take me to court and get me arrested, i asked them for the paperwork in this matter and the documents of this loan they are claiming i didnt pay, i need help i dont know what to do and i have never been in any problem or have criminal problems, can somebody advice me in this. the phone number they call is 407-205-1042 when i talked to them the man who i spoke to told me to call him at 803-218-9106 and if i dont called them to pay they will put me in jail. what i can do? please help me, i can afford paying a lawyer or paying them

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Caty —
      Please don’t pay. They cannot have you arrested, and you would not be jailed for an unpaid debt. Scammers hope to frighten people into paying money they don’t owe, and they frequently want it on a prepaid card, where it is virtually impossible to get your money back once you pay. Threats such as the ones they are making are illegal. You can report them to your state attorney general’s office or submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      The first thing you should do before paying a collector is to make sure that both the debt and the collection agency are for real. A legitimate agency would send you a written validation of the debt.

      • Melanie

        They are still at it! I received numerous calls over the last two days stating I have a n outstanding Payday Loan and they will be showing up at my job to serve me a summons to go to court. I did have a Payday Loan in 2006 and have the records showing I paid. The company can’t give you any information as far as sending you a statement and claim they are arbitrators and not debt collectors (no idea what the difference is). It is upsetting because they are calling my sister too. I am going to continue to call them and harrass them now. I keep calling and asking when are they going to take me to court or come to my house to serve me and they hang up. I don’t understand why no one did anything when my identity was stolen last year and my credit score went down 40 points and why when I file complaints regarding these phone calls absolutely nothing happens. They are just going to keep doing this for eternity because it still works and no one does anything!

        • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

          How frustrating. If you’ve reported it and nothing is happening, it’s possible these people are offshore (and out of reach). Here are some other ideas for stopping the calls. Some of the comments have some creative ideas as well.
          7 Ways to Stop Debt Collection Scam Calls

  • Herekittiez

    I don’t know if anyone still runs this blog. Ill check back in the am. There is a new scam where someone calls on my caller ID it says LEGAL PROCESSING. Then they call from a number based out of Denver, CO which is probably a spoofed call. They say it’s a private investigator and a case is downloading in my county. I threatened them, they said okay we won’t call again. So now today, they called 3 times, with a different area code. Same scam, i’m a private investigator call back immediately etc etc. This needs to stop i went off on them again.

  • Aymie Lewis

    I have never applied online for a loan and I keep getting call from someone sounding like they are from India saying I have and I am approved for a 3,000 loan. I called them and told them not to call and blocked their number on my phone which only means my phone never rings when they call. They continue to call numerous times a day and leave messages. I just want the calls to stop. How can I do that?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    There is not an easy answer. This post addresses the issue, and the comments also may have some ideas for you:
    7 Ways to Stop Debt Collection Scam Calls

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Not sure I understand. Why are you calling them? You certainly should not give them any information about your bank. You could also submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    It certainly sounds as if it’s a scam and you’re wise to be suspicious. If you can get the name of the collectors, you could report them to the Better Business Bureau or to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But please don’t pay a debt that you believe you have already paid in full. You can find more information here:
    7 Ways to Stop Debt Collection Scam Calls
    The Ultimate Guide to Debt Collectors

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    No it’s not true. And I highly doubt she is really a lawyer. Please read this: 9 Signs You Are Talking to a Debt Collection Scammer

  • Christine Bates

    Today I received a call from 646-481-6950 from Brooklyn,NY. And threatened to have me arrested for failure to pay a payday loan. Everything I just read happened me today!I was very upset even called my local law enforcement and filed a complaint. Wow I wish I have read this earlier. Caller said he was a attorney Michael Frost! And he had an India accent. My name is Christine Bates.

    I sent them $165 and didn’t get anything!

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      So sorry to hear that. Don’t be surprised if they continue to harass you. Once you’ve paid something their efforts may intensify because they think they can get more. Stand firm.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Don’t panic. Just because he has some of your contact info that doesn’t mean anything. This article should help: How to Beat Debt Collection Scammers at Their Game

  • Christina Bedeaux

    I am going threw this right now a gentleman going by the name of Dwain MCWire called me yesterday saying he was an attorney for Nebraska American cash loans. Supposedly I’m being charged with fraud for lack of payment. Funny thing is I got a loan eight days ago through a different lender.

  • fed up in NWTN

    I have never applied for a loan online, yet in the past 24 hours I have received phone calls from 5 different phone numbers informing me that my loan application has been approved. I have been able to trace 2 of the phone numbers to legitimate listings, but the other 3 apparently have been “masked”. the phone numbers from which I have received these calls are:
    (776) 909-4253 (not a valid phone number)
    (381) 695-2216 (not a valid phone number)
    (837) 999-1866 (not a valid phone number
    (302) 414-8632 (landline in New Castle, DE)
    (216) 278-0121 (cellphone in Cleveland, OH)
    The phone call I received this morning informing me that my autoloan application has been approved was from a male of middle Eastern, Indian descent – with a strong accent. When I asked where he received my application from, he hung up on me!!! LOL
    These calls are coming to my cellphone. I have had my number on the worthless DO NOT CALL list, yet they still get through!!! I am sooooooo fed up!

    • big al

      they called my place of work one day two hundred times. I went to the police gave them phone numbers . the police called the numbers it doesn’t do any good they just keep calling I would love to get my hands on them myself.

    • CT

      I have received many calls as well from numbers stating I was approved for a loan for up to $10.000. I replied that I never applied for a loan and would appreciate the calls stop!
      They continue to come in so I ask this person how he got my information and my number to be calling me on a name said basis! the man hung up and called right back! Do you by chance know who to report these numbers to! For one I continue to get these calls and I don’t own a credit card at all! Never have I applied for a loan, nor do I ever give out any information over the phone but I would like to know if someone has my information and using it! I am checking with my bank today to run my credit to assure myself that I am safe! I sure would love a number or a site to report these numbers to cause none of these people calling can speak proper English!
      I am also on the do not call list so how are they getting our information and calling us by name! I have gotten to the point that when these calls come through and ask to speak to such and such. I tell them you can not speak to anyone until you can speak proper English this is America we speak ENGLISH!
      very frustrated!!!!!!!

  • LeAnn Lipps Robertson

    I was actually harassed by a scammer, The number came up on my cell phone. When I realized it was a scam, I started calling them back 4 and 5 times a day. At first they used the fake business name. After about call #20 they just answered hello. The last call I made I asked, how does it feel to be on the receiving end of the harassment, I’m going to call you every day forever. I got a huge sense of relief from this and guess what??? They never called again.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      LeAnn – You just helped make a horrible topic amusing. Thank you for the chuckle, and kudos for coming up with a clever way of giving them a dose of their own medicine.

      • LeAnn Lipps Robertson

        I’ve also told them you and I both know that you are a scammer and if you call me again, I will hunt you down.

  • Deanna Templeton

    Jane – what did your lawyer advise?

    Based on what you’ve explained, it sounds like you’re dealing with a payday collection scam. In which case, I’d ask “Sarah” to provide written documentation to validate whether or not the debt even exists. This is standard procedure when dealing with any debt collector and by law, the collector must comply with this request. In fact, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if a collector contacts you by phone they have 5 days in which to send you formal written notice that you owe the debt. The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and your right to dispute the debt, in writing, within 30 days of receiving the notice.

    If Sarah won’t comply with the laws, then it’s a scam. And as the article states “scammers have no power at all, except to annoy you.”

    • jane

      Thanks for replying Deanna. My bankruptcy attorney looked into this and nothing on my credit report shows of any of this transaction or that it even exsists on my credit report from 2008. my lawyer then called the number that was calling me, got a women that transferred her to a line to the number of Sarah, no answer, she left a message, I walked out f my lawyers office and she called me and said “you are trying t run from this.” We also looked this company up and the alleged company that states I had the payday loan, no where to be found, she traced the address back t a p.o. box in Fl, under a different name totally. I have also looked this company up, They are a collections agency but these were not the initial ppl that called me. I have read abut the GSA company the addressed us to and it says scam, scam, scam…. My attorney then stated to me just if they call back get names and numbers and anything you can, even try and tape the call if you can. The women has not called me back since I went t my lawyer.

      • Deanna Templeton

        I know it’s nerve-wracking, and no one wants to be verbally berated about a debt (a debt that you don’t owe even), but I half hope she calls back and provides contact information. I’d love to see some of these horrible people caught and prosecuted. On the same note, they’re good at what they do so I doubt they’ll provide accurate contact details for that very reason.

        If you are able to tape the call, or have success in catching these guys, we’d love to hear back from you. Our hope is that the more people that are made aware of the scams, the fewer victims. And when consumers share their stories, as you’ve done, it helps — truly.

  • Garth

    I have just created a petition online under Obama’s ‘we the people’ drive at petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitions which mandates that any petition with over 25,000 signatures be reviewed by the government. Obviously the petition requests that the government take actions against these scams. Please review and sign and inform as many sites such as this of the petition.

    • Pam

      HI Garth what is the complete link so I can sign

  • Pingback: Trapped in Payday Loan Debt? How to Escape | Credit.com News + Advice()

  • Payday Loan Sam Victim

    Beware of a fake pre-litigation called Watson Hampton and Associates, they call your phone and the caller id will say (your area code)134-5678, they say they are trying to serve you with legal documents and give you this #1-866-316-3895 to call along with a case number. When you call they verify your name, most likely an old address and your entire or partial SS number, they advise you that you have a very old payday loan you did not pay that they are going to sue you for if you do not pay them. They try to get you to pay their “settlement offer” which is significantly less than you supposedly owe them- this is 100% a verified scam, I verified it with my bank that I never had a payday loan deposited. When I told the company it was false and that I was contacting the FTC and Police they hung up on me and would not answer any of my calls afterward. Very Scary Stuff 🙁

  • karilyn

    I have been receiving threatening e-mails about a payday loan from a company I have never received one from. I have got a couple of them from 2 different people and they are supposedly from the same company, but they have changed the amount they say I owe and the phone number. But everything else is the same in the e-mail. It seems like a scam to me because that can’t provide me with any documentation. They said they don’t have to because its a time sensitive matter. What are your thoughts on this.

    • Florence Reynolds

      My attorney told me to ask for a fax number and the account number so I could send a payment and they told me

  • Vince

    The number to give out to payday loan / debt collector scammers is 07806 704386, and from outside the uk, + 44 7806 704386, this number always goes to voice mail and no further.
    I have had debt collectors call this number on and off for over nine years, and not once have the low life gotten me to answer, it always goes through to voice mail, wether the caller is human or an automatice dialler, feel free to pass this number around, it’ll give me more laughs, regards, Vince.

  • NaTrina

    i got a call from a Mr. Powers. first he’s been calling my parents house everyday several times a day and calling my husband’s phone. the number is 1-877-560-9762. i called the number back yesterday to confirm the payment (that they are not going to get) scheduled for thursday and a man answered. he said he was the head auditor.
    ????? yo, head auditors got that kinda free time on their hands to answer phones now? i haven’t used profanity in thirteen years but i wanted to say “MUTHAFATHASISTABRUTHA! PLEASE GO SOMEWHERE AND GET YA MIND RIGHT AND YA HUSTLE TIGHT CAUSE YOU SLIPPIN!” lol

  • Lulu

    I work for a very large retailer and these clowns have been calling for the last week looking for someone who works there. On average they call between 300-400 x’s a day. So annoying! Always an Indian accent and starts screaming into the phone as soon as we pick-up. Nobody is going to send them any money, we just transfer the call to a number we were given but they are persistent, I will give them that.

  • Amber

    8184466753 is the number i am getting harrassed by now…claim they are from America but all have indian accents ….i asked where i owed money to after they said i was going to get served by a sherriff if i didnt pay, and they said i would have to pay now and call back after 3 to get details as to what i had owed money for…..after i called them a scam he called me a stupid idiot lol …and i called back 10 times in a row, finally they asked me to stop calling them lol….the harrasser didnt like being harrasssed!

  • Cali

    i have been getting repeated calls from a 336-609-7631 number and 702-218-7534 and have spoken to two people by the names of Edward Marshall and Whitney Walker, they called my work telling me that i had made a online loan and did not pay it all back, and that i owed money, when i told them that i had not taken a online loan out in years and there is no way that i can owe any kind of money they then told me that they would call my supervisor and tell them that i was incompetent and get me fired, the next day my co worker told them when they called that i was out sick, they yelled at her and called her a liar and claimed that that they talked to me on my cell phone while i was heading to work(not true)….they called back 52 times in a row yelling at my co-workers and when transferred to HR, Whitney Walker called my Hr lady a lying B*tch, my work is dealing with it the best they can and i have been doing some research on line but the people that called me have my work number my address they know where i bank and have the last four digits to my social, this has to stop i don’t know what to do…and also, when i tried to get the business name i couldn’t understand due to the heavy accent and he spoke very loud and it was very loud with other people talking in the background. also they said that it was with the online loan for usacashadvance, i did email this on line loan company looking for help but they have yet to respond.

  • Danielle

    I received a phone call this morning from Ed Trexler with a number of 909-259-9400 stating that I was having a civil lawsuite against me from a payday loan dated back in 2010. I’m pretty sure it’s a scam but with what they said I can have taken away from me if I don’t pay it scares me. He states he is from CMS Recovery and I’ve googed the number and the company but do not get any response from it. I use to get them from thick accent but now they are american speaking people with american names. Not sure what to do. I reported it to the fraud agency.

  • Mimi

    I received a phone call today at work this morning telling me his name was John Lincoln and he was calling from a law firm and I named in a lawsuit and I needed to talk to him or if I had an attorney this was off the record. I asked him what this was involving and where he was calling from because I have no clue what in the world I have done. He starts to tell me that he will not tell me that information because I already know it. If I did why would I have asked? I told him I was not aloud personal phone calls at work. I was then told that I would talk to him about this matter and started to ask me questions about me. I told him he should have all that and I would like him to mail me all of the documents to my house that tells me about the law suit. He then started yelling at me and not letting me talk then hung up on me. This was around 10:00 this morning.

    If that wasn’t bad enough when I got off work and checked my phone at 5:00 p.m. I had 3 missed calls from this number and another 10 unavailable phone calls after the time he talked to me. The 3 missed calls from that number left me 3 messages. Every single message was the same. Also in the message it says (in a very thick male Indian voice) this message is intended for my name. My name the very second you receive this message I need you or your retained attorney off record to return the call. The issues at hand is extremely time sensitive. My name is John Lincoln. I am hotline to my diversionist 516-726-2173 I repeat 516-726-2173. Don’t disregard this message return the call. Now (my name) if you don’t return the call and I don’t hear from your attorney either. The only thing I can do is wish you good luck.

    All three messages where the same and when I called them back after work to try to get more information, now that I don’t have to worry about getting fired, He hung up on me twice when I wouldn’t give him more information than my name. And when I called back the 3rd time he was calling me on the other line. So I answered this call at 5:07 I asked him again to tell me what he was calling about and to please give me more information. He started yelling and telling me the same thing again that I already knew. So I asked him if he knew that it was illegal to leave harassing messages and to keep calling me at work when I already told him not to. He told me yes he knew. I told him I was going to report him to the police and he said that was fine because they will only arrest me instead. He then told me that he was going to send people to my house to get me. At this time he was yelling so much that I couldn’t understand a word and I hung up.

    I received a voice message a few months ago from this man with the same message and at my work he left a message the same day on a Saturday around 8 in the morning. I returned the phone call then too but only to get a busy signal when I tried.

    This needs to be reported I’m just not sure how to do that so for now just warning everyone about this man hopefully will help.

    • Amber

      that is the same exact phone call i recieved and voicemail a man left me…except when i called back he told me i would have to call back at 3 pm to figure out why i owed money but first i had to pay them …them people need lives and are pathetic

  • jenn

    I did take out a couple of payday loans a few years ago, and paid them all off. Payday loans are evil… caused a ton of stress in my life and so I was thrilled when I got them paid off. Then the phone calls began. The first one was saying I owed $2000. I never took out a loan for $2000. I was on the phone with the guy for over an hour trying to get him to tell me where the loan was from, and wanting documentation. I finally got wise and looked him up, along with the # on the internet while I was on the phone with him. Told him he was a scam and read to him what I was reading on the internet. He told me I would be sorry when the police came. I was relieved that I was smart enough not to give him my info, but I was definitely shaken up after the conversation. Over the last year and a half (on and off) I have received all sorts of calls, some saying they have approved a loan and need my bank info, to which I tell them I didn’t apply for a loan and to stop calling me. they then get verbally abusive. I have had calls saying that I won a $5000 grant from the government and need my bank info so that they can deposit the $. HA! I wish! It got so bad that I changed my cell phone #. Then today, they called my home phone #, which is a fairly new #, saying that I will be charged with check fraud. I don’t write checks. But then the “locater” transferred me to another guy that then told me that there is a case against me about still owing for a payday loan. I have not seen anything in the last year and half, and now they are saying that I owe? What is up with that? They won’t send out a letter to me so that I know this is a legit case. They said that I can wither pay the $150 or if it goes to court $2000.00. This is ridiculous! When will it end? The worst part is you can block the #, but is is always changing, or even blocked. I am sooo sick of having to constantly pay for the mistake I made in even using a payday loan service. never ending BS!

  • Jim

    I have been receiving these calls for going on 2-3years now! If we as a country can identify these scam operators and know there location Why and what are we doing about this? Why is there not a task force designed to cease the existence of these corrupt individuals? Making a complaint to the atty. generals office does nothing?! These individuals are calling work numbers and in some cases may affect employment status!? I would love to lead the TASK-FORCE anybody with me?!!!!!!!!!! Just to answer the question that I read earlier from someone with regards to how these scammers are getting this info. ..Once you fill out a loan online such as pay-day loan services and you decide to get the loan or decline it makes no difference! You and your information goes on a list wether it be “sucker” list or “desperate” list & it is sold to these idiots!

  • Star

    I had a Stan Jackson/Kate smith same voice but trying to make it sound different saying i got fraud checks and threatening to go to my hom or place of employment to serve me papers.. this number keeps callingme ughh 877-630-6441

  • dorthea

    this is some really good information because i was scam from a loan company they told me i was approve the only thing i had to do was send them 450 dollars and i would be accepted for the loan i feel like a dame fool cause i usually would have not let someone scam me the thing i sholud have went by was the number they was callin from ever time i called back i couldnt get any one and they would call me right bacc i feel so stupid for fallin for such a trick i was mad as hell but i did call them bacc and told them i knew they scam me and god dont like ugly just remember they are diffently out there lookin for people to prey on smdh the nerve of some people and the man had the nerves to tell me he was christian the devil is a lie i told him to go to hell with gasoline draws on lmao too funny i guess it can happen to the best of us

  • C.S.

    I have a concern due to my recent situation. The more I am looking into these payday lending practices the more I am finding out, and the more convoluted it seems to be. I have noticed that many online payday lenders are claiming to be on Native American reservations. As such they are protected due to their sovereign immunity. This allows them to charge outrageous fees and interest rates that outside of the reservation would be unlawful. My concern which was only hinted on, on one post of many I read is as they are supposedly immune from law of charging high fees and interests rates they maybe also immune from lawful collection practices. I am also concerned if very personal information is being sold from these types of lenders to scammers like the one who called me yesterday. There appears to be a definite link to these types of loans and the phone calls.

    Another way scammers can obtain your personal information is outlined on this website: http://research.zscaler.com/2012/08/payday-loan-scam.html

  • C.S.

    Today, I had a Tate Smith call me (American sounding accent) I didn’t actually speak to him but he left a message stating that he was a process server for NC and that he was calling me to tell me that I was being served for check fraud; he provided me with a case # 164921. Well I was immediately suspicious because I do not write checks out anymore; haven’t for a very long time and I didn’t believe people were called before being served with court papers. But needless to say I was concerned maybe identity theft which he mentioned could be a possibility. He gave me a number 1-877-630-6441 ext. 513 and told me to call that number to possibly halt the process of them serving me papers. He stated the reason for him serving me papers was none of his business. Let me add his number is unlisted, of course. I called the number and extension. The greeting stated that the company was named Progressive (very original) I ended up speaking to a Maryland Fenny / Funny who appeared to be sympathetic towards me with regards to payday loans and spoke badly about them. She provided me with the name of the company I had the loan out with and provided other information like my email address which the one I usually use is my “junk” email address. I questioned her about the check fraud allegation and after she supposedly consulted with the attorneys she said that it wasn’t check fraud but that it was illegal for me to deal with payday loans in my state and that was the actual charge; basically I was committing a crime. Of course it didn’t sound right, I figured store fronts could not operate in NC but how was it illegal for me to have committed a crime? How can the state of NC tell me from whom I can borrow money from? She stated to get the matter resolved I could settle on the loan for the amount today by 4:00 for $301.00. After I hung up I contacted my debt consolidation person, because I had recently opted to consolidate some of my loans the company in question being one of them. She informed me that the matter was a scam and the reasons why; many of the same reasons stated above. She told me to either ignore them or if they call back call their bluff. The sad part is the same man called my mother. I told my mom to ignore him. None of the people I spoke with had any accents and the numbers they call from are unlisted or does not show up on my caller ID. Anytime I have applied for loans I use my cell phone number never my home number so they have managed to get not only my home number but also my number from when I lived at home. I hope this helps anybody who maybe in a similar situation because unlike some of the comments I have read these people were really nice. Kill them with kindness I guess maybe the new scam tactic.

  • Kica

    I been having the same problem with them. They are from India, and they call my cell phone and work phone all day long. They are so rude on the phone, and rude to my co-workers when they call. I do have a few Payday loans, but it worries me how they happen to stumble upon my information. Yesterday they called and left me a voice message, and was able to tell me the last four digits of my SSN, talking about they are from some legal department. They are dumb and stupid, b/c everytime they call they identify themselves by a different name and say they are calling from these weird companies. I don’t know what else to do, but I curse them out all the time and they just continue calling my phone. I wish there was something I could do just to stop these idiots from calling me at work and at home.

    • Vincent Young

      Hey Kica,

      I’ve been receiving these calls for some time, and I have gone out of my way to check them out. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do. They have your information and will keep calling you no matter what you do. Best results I have had is to just say ‘look, the information you gave me is bogus, but I was referred to the FBI, who told me you are a scam operation being run out of India.’ Usually at that point they will hang up and you will get a reprieve of a couple of months. But I am sad to say it WILL start up again. If it really bothers you that much (and I can understand that it would) I would simply change your phone number and be careful about applying for any loans online.

  • http://www.neilvyoung.com Vincent Young

    I have been getting calls from these jokers for about two years now, often at 5 or 6 in the morning. Best results I have had is to just tell them flat out you know they are a scam. That will usually get them to end the call right then and there, but in a few months it will start all over again. I’m at the point right now where I just have fun with them. I answer the call and play loud rap music or blow an air horn into the receiver. Sometimes I give them the number of the Indian Embassy and tell them to call me later at my ‘work’ number. They are a joke and I am treating them as such.

    • Michael Schreiber

      Vincent — would you share your story with our community at http://forum.credit.com ?
      We think it would generate a pretty interesting discussion.

      • Vincent Young

        Sure, Mike, be happy to. Under what subject?

  • http://Google Jane Krueger

    I have been bothered at my home number and my work number. I did have a couple of loans, but they were in good standing. They were all paid off early, the last ones today. I still got a bad message on my work and home answering service from a foreigner calling from a number with a New York prefix. Two calls before that, there were foreign men saying they were with the FBI and the Missouri Sheriff Department and that they would have me arrested. The very first of the three calls said that I had dellinquent auto and student loans, which I did not have and I knew that something was fishy. These paydays were unsecured to pay off debts. They are gone now. I read this article and hope that these people are brought to justice!

  • Anna Adams

    Not only have they been using foreigners, i have received phone calls from Americans! received one last night. I asked for proof of the debt, he just got nasty. i work for financial institutions and told him i would provide proof that i did not owe anything to the so called payday loan business. This phone call came from Los Angeles, CA. Hung up on him and he called me back 3 more times.

  • gail williams

    I have received a few of these calls,but suspected they were scammers and googled the phone numbers. The last time, this dude calls, INDIAN accent, American name and says he is from the Bureau of Crime Investigations. I was already having a bad day at work, so my response was “bullsh*****” I laughed and told him he was just a scammer and had a good friend with the US Marshals and had already discussed these scam calls with him (and I had). His most professional response was, “F**** you and he repeated that phrase several times.

    Called our office today and our daughter went off on him and called him, scammer, scammer, and he started yelling at her. She said don’t yell at me and hung up on him. I am considering going along with him and giving him false information, just to aggravate, but think I will probably just ignore and hang up and let them move on to someone else.

  • lee

    I am having the same problems. They are relentless. The call my work about 25 times an hour and harrass the workers there. Thank goodness my boss is well aware of the scam. Police reports, complaints filed with FTC and US Treasury FINCEN…etc…say they cannot do much…I have been reading online how this goes on for years. It’s horrible.

  • http://credit.com Pat

    I am having the same problems. It started last year, I took out a payday loan, someone called and saID that my check was returned and that I owed this amount and like a fool I paid it. Then it started up again. I called my attorney and he stated to ingorne it. Then it started again and I told them that I wanted proof of who they were, who they representated and how much I owed. H said that after I paid it, he would send it to me. He has a India accent and then tells me to hold on and talk to his supervisor. When they come on, I cant understand him and the phone is cutting on and off (like a bad cell) and then he calls me back and ask me to call them. I again told him again what I wanted and then hung up. I filed a complaint on the FTC but will they really help. What do I do

  • Allie

    I have been receiving calls from these scums for 2 years. The latest one is from a person whom he says is “John McCarthy” lol…funny thing is, he can’t even pronounce the name. He told my husband he was my ex-boyfriend from 5 years ago. So my husband told him we have been married for 13 years, and then my husband asked him, IF he was my ex, where was I living 5 years ago. The man then said he would never call back again. It has been a few days. I am sure he will give it to another scum to call me, and we will have the same thing all over. I have been getting calls like this for years, claiming from different agencies, all of them have “American” names. Cant they be smart enough to know that if they used their Indian names, we would not be so suspicious? Don’t they know that America is made up of people from all over the world? The people who fall for this and give their money over to them, need to be informed of these hackers and thieves. Makes me sick that they steal money from people instead of making the money legit like the rest of us.

  • Nicolette

    I really appreciate this information I have been receiving calls from these peole everyday 15 to 50 x a day for 3 months start not. I have call the FTC, BCI, ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE, FBI & the POLICE but these people don’t just call asking for money they are now threatens to kill me, rape me also some very horrible sexual comments I am so afraid to answer my phone anymore. It is now the same guy lately & he calls from a different # everyday not mention he uses my bosses phone # to call me & I recently found out he calls & harassed other people with my bosses phone # bc people now call my job asking who is calling saying they owe so type of money please not I work for an insurance agent we don’t call our customers demanding money Plus we know all of our customers personally. This is truly sad though bc I have nightmares and dread when the phone rings. I just wish he would stop calling.

    • David

      Nicole I am so sorry to hear that these low-lifes are threatening you. They have called people I know and harassed them also. Whenever this happens post the callers number online ( twitter, Facebook, Instagram ) and encourage people to call and harass them. They are begging me to stop calling them because they can’t do business.

    • Robert

      Change your number. And never put your phone numbers online or ss# ever!

  • Pingback: Faxless payday loans mean no faxing or waiting in line at loanspaydayproa.us | This Is the Scam That Just Won’t Die – The Business Insider()

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