An illegal debt collection scam that collected more than five million dollars from victims has been stopped by the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the FTC, the scammers tricked victims into believing they owed payday loans. Callers would harass consumers into paying the fake loans by posing as law enforcement or government agencies.
The settlement with Broadway Global Master bans them from ever being involved with debt collection. Plus, money recovered by the FTC will be used to issue refunds for the victims.
The company’s owner, Kirit Patel, pleaded guilty on charges of criminal mail and wire fraud to the Department of Justice
He was sentenced to one year in person.
Getting a call from a debt collector can be intimidating, but there are ways to verify that the caller and company are real.
BBB offers these tips to keep you from getting scammed:
Ask more more information. Tell the caller you will not talk about any debt until you get a written validation notice. This notice includes the amount of debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Don’t give out your personal information. Unless you know who you are talking to, don’t give out your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number. Scammers can use this information to write fraudulent checks or take out loans in your name.
Contact your creditor. The debit could be legitimate, but the debt collector could not. If you have any doubts, call your creditor. Tell them information you have about the suspicious calls and find out if the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.