The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a complaint against two individuals and seven companies to stop illegal debt collection activity. According to the FTC, at least $9.4 million had been collected using "abusive and illegal debt-collection practices".
The scammers are accused of calling a person, or calling their employer, family members, friends, and neighbors and posing as "process servers" trying to contact the person about a lawsuit. In some instances, the callers threatened that the person would be arrested unless they returned the call. Others posed as attorneys or "employees of a law office" who demanded payment of court costs and legal fees.
According to the FTC, many of the people the scammers were trying to contact never owed the debt being collected and no lawsuits had ever been filed. In another case, the FTC found a "payday lending scheme" using online loan applications with loan terms that included an illegal "wage assignment" clause allowing garnishment of the borrowers’ wages if he became delinquent.
Bottom line: these scammers are predators
In this economic climate, be wary of these scams:
- Debt collection
- Credit repair
- Loan modification
In order to protect your hard-earned income, you need to be aware that the scammers are out there. An experienced attorney can make all the difference in sorting out the bad guys.