UPDATE: Interview: I Fought Off The US National Bank Scammers
Has a “debt collector” from “US National Bank” called you up and tried to railroad you into repaying an online payday loan you payed off years ago? Have they harassed you at work, threatened you will jail time, said they’re sending the sheriff after you, or used other illegal and intimidating tactics? I’m working on a story for Reader’s Digest about scams, and this is one of them I want to blow out the water. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with “USNB Scam” in the subject line. My deadline is very short, this Friday, October 17th, 2008. Digging deeper into this particularly nasty form of illegal debt collecting, it seems what they’re doing is…
…acquiring old customer data from online payday loan companies. Then they call up the customers, who have already paid off the loan years ago, and use all sorts of threatening talk to get them to pay off the loans again. They call you up at work and harass the crap out of you.
Normally what you would do with these people is report them for harassing phone calls and get an injunction filed against them. You could also sue them for violating the FDCPA, or send them a debt validation letter. But these jokers work overseas, probably from India, and they don’t care that they’re breaking American law. They use caller-ID spoofing to make it look like their calls originate from the US and never give out an address, making it nigh-impossible for law enforcement to do anything. From what I’ve read on debtconsolidationcare forums, which has been helping its members deal with this scam for some time, the only way to fight back is to get hardball. Options include:
- Hanging up
- Laughing and hanging up
- Saying “Fine, I’ll see you in court” and hanging up
- Telling them you’re recording the call for your attorney. This makes them hang up.
They won’t respond to logic or argument. Everything they say is a lie to get you to wire funds to their criminal enterprise.