At least once a month, I receive a call from a client who took out a payday loan online and his or her identity was compromised. What happens next is that the collection calls start from collectors who violate every rule in the book. The problem is that these collectors are not legitimate. They usually have thick accents and use a fake name that is very American. For example, Denzel Washington, John Williams or Steve Martin. They claim they are calling from official sounding places like the Department of Law and Enforcement (which does not actually exist). When they call, they demand payment and threaten that the person will go to jail for check fraud. And they call…A LOT.
THIS IS A SCAM!
Please do not send them any money. A legitimate collector will send you proof of the debt in writing. They will give you a real address where letters can be sent to them. They will also tell you where they are calling from. And they call from real places.
How to protect yourself:
1. Don’t take out cash advances, especially online
2. If you are receiving calls like this, do not give them any personal information (especially your social security number)
3. Ask that they send you proof of the debt in writing
4. Tell your attorney they are harassing you
5. Have your attorney call them