They used to just call on the phone and threaten to arrest you. Now scammers are actually posing as process servers and showing up at your place of work and even your home! According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the agency continues to receive complaints from victims of payday loan telephone collection scams.
The typical one involves a caller who claims you are delinquent on a payday loan and must make payment to avoid legal consequences. Callers pose as representatives of the FBI, various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies. They relentlessly call your landline, cell phone, and place of employment in attempts to obtain payment. Because the callers are not legitimate, they refuse to provide information regarding the alleged payday loan or any documentation, and become abusive when questioned.
Often victims are told there are outstanding warrants for their arrest for non-payment. “During the perpetration of this crime, the caller demands payment via debit/credit card; in other cases, the caller further instructs victims to obtain a prepaid card to cover the payment,” says the IC3 website.
“The high-pressure collection tactics used by the fraudsters have also evolved. In one recent complaint, a person posing as a process server actually made a personal appearance at the victim’s place of employment. In another instance a fake process server came to victim’s home. In both cases, after claiming to be serving the victim with a court summons, the alleged process server indicated the victim could avoid going to court if the victim provided a debit card number for repayment of the loan.
“If you are contacted by someone who is trying to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:
- Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger;
- Contact your bank(s) and credit card companies;
- Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file;
- If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the loan company directly;
- File a complaint at www.IC3.gov.”