This story is courtesy of News10 in Sacramento and Suzanne Phan.Here are the highlights of the story:
“A Yuba City woman nearly fell victim to a terrifying scam involving a fake debt collector and a phony cop. Michelle Bertsch received a dozen calls at home and at work on her cellphone in March from a man claiming to be a debt collector. The man demanded Bertsch pay a due balance of $1,395 or pay in installments of $500. But Bertsch didn’t owe anyone any money.
Then, after about a dozen calls from the alleged debt collector, Bertsch received a call from a woman pretending to be a Yuba City police officer. According to Bertsch, the woman identified herself by name, said she was a police officer with Yuba City Police, and then said “I’m coming to your work, you are getting arrested and sent to jail for seven to 21 days.” Adding to her concerns, Bertsch later dialed the number shown on her cellphone and it truly did connect her with the police department.
The Better Business Bureau says that number has been used by numerous scam artists. “It says it’s located in the Bronx. But people have gotten calls from it from all over. It’s even traced from out of India,” said Almond. “All they’re doing is dialing for dollars all day long.”
According to a press release from the FBI, Internet Crime Complaint Center has received many complaints from victims of payday loan telephone collection scams. The release stated: “How the fraudsters obtained the personal information (of victims) varies, but in some cases, victims have reported they completed online applications for other loans or credit cards before the calls started.”
The Better Business Bureau say people need to realize that the police department does not call to collect debts.”
This is mostly old news to those of us who represent consumers. The scary part is the debt collector using technology to mask its number and have it appear to be the police. The police WILL NOT call you over a debt. It is a civil matter. Do not let the debt collectors bully you over this.
If you get a call like this, call the police and confirm they are not calling you. Then file a report. You may also wish to contact the BBB, the FTC and talk to an attorney about your rights.