PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning consumers about a debt collection scam in which debt collectors are impersonating law enforcement officers in effort to collect money. The scam artists most often claim they are attempting to collect a debt related to a payday loan obtained over the internet. Many of the consumers who have been contacted have never obtained a payday loan or the loan has been paid in full. The callers have most recently identified themselves as Criminal Investigations.
The fraudsters call the victim's home, cell phone, and place of employment. They refuse to provide to the consumers any details of the alleged payday loans and become abusive when questioned. The callers threaten with legal actions, arrests, and in some cases physical violence if they refuse to pay. These collection calls are an attempt to obtain payment by instilling fear in the victims. Do not follow the instruction of the caller.
If you receive telephone calls such as these, you should:
- Contact your banking institutions;
- Ask the caller to send the loan information to you in writing;
- Refuse to verify any bank account, credit card or other personal information over the phone;
- Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file;
- Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
Consumers should remember that they are entitled to a free credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies each year. This will allow consumers to monitor their credit history for any fraudulent activity that might arise. To obtain the free reports, consumers can call 1-877-322-8228 or order online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you have any questions regarding this scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Thursday, August 4, 2011
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215