BBB issues nationwide alert about phony debt collectors harassing consumers

Scammers’ actions point to mass data breach including Social Security and bank account numbers
By: Howard Schwartz - Connecticut BBB
 
Aug. 5, 2009 - PRLog -- Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about would-be debt collectors who call “payday” loan holders, threatening arrest if they don’t pay immediately.

A payday loan, also known as a paycheck advance, is a short-term cash advance intended to cover expenses until the holder’s next payday.

The callers claim they are lawyers with the “Financial Accountability Association” or the “Federal Legislation of Unsecured Loans,” and they are armed with stolen personal information from their victims, indicating a major security breach of unknown origin. The names used by the scammers may change with time.

According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, payday loan holders appear to be particularly at risk.

“Because the scammers have so much information about potential victims, BBB is concerned that this may be the result of a data breach.  Thousands of people may have had their personal information compromised.”

Reports received by Better Business Bureau and posted online explain the con artists threaten the loan holders of defaulting and claim they are being sued.  The imposters threaten the loan holders with imminent arrest and extradition to California to stand trial, unless they immediately wire $1000 or provide bank account or credit card information.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau has advice for consumers who receive suspicious telephone calls about an outstanding debt:

-Don’t be bullied into immediate action.  Ask the debt collector to provide official documentation that substantiates the debt.
-Do not provide or confirm any bank account, credit card or other personal information over the telephone until you confirm the legitimacy of the call.
-If you believe a debt collector is trying to scam you, file an abuse complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www. ftc.gov, or by telephone at (202) 326-2222. Also file a complaint with your Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org or by telephone at 203-269-2700, extension 2.

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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.
End
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Phone:203-269-2700 x 103
Zip:06492
Tags:Debt, Collectors, Scam, Abusive, Cheat, Bbb, Data, Personal, Stolen, Ssn
Industry:Consumer, Financial
Location:Wallingford - Connecticut - United States
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