US National Bank Scammers Still Extorting Hapless Consumers

“US National Bank” is still at it, calling up people and threatening them with jail time unless they pay up for debts they never took out and USNB doesn’t own. Here’s K’s story of how “Harry Wilson” called him up screaming and yelling. But after speaking to a consumer lawyer, K learned what he needed to say to get the extortionist to stop phone-harassing him. You’ll learn too after you read the story inside…

K writes:

I first became aware of this company when my sister called to tell me she had been contacted by “Harry Wilson” from the phone number 951-200-3254. He yelled at her on the phone, demanded that she pay him the money I owed immediately or he would use her Social Security Number to take all the money from her bank account and ruin her credit. He would not tell her what her Social Security Number was when she asked. She hung up on him.

I called and spoke to “Ryan Smith”, a man with an extremely heavy Indian accent and was told I was going to jail on Saturday if I did not pay immediately. When I asked for verification of this debt in writing, he told me he was not required to provide that and I would go to jail. He gave me a fax number 914-462-3657 to fax my bank account number, debit card number, social security number and mailing address to so he could get payment.

The loan in question was supposedly taken out on 4/13/2007, a full 7 months before I even opened an account with the bank he claimed the deposit was made to. Then he changed his mind and said the deposit was made on 12/04/2007. I checked my bank account statements and no deposits were made to my account on or near that date.

My sister again received 2 calls yesterday from “Harry Wilson” threatening her with jail time if she didn’t make me pay them.

I can deal with the threats to myself, as I am well aware they are bogus, but my young nephew took one of the threatening calls yesterday and was understandably shaken and upset over the incident.

I filed complaints with the FTC and with ic3.gov. I talked to a consumer lawyer to find out my rights in this matter. I was terrified at first, as I’m sure many other victims are, but I knew none of this sounded right. I’ve not always been the most financially responsible person in the world, but I have always repaid my debts. I took notes on everything this man told me, even making him repeat himself to be sure I had the correct information.

Then the bottom-feeder called me at work yesterday to tell me I was going to jail in an hour if I didn’t give him my debit card number immediately. I told him in no uncertain terms that this was a scam and I knew it. I detailed for him every step I had taken and the fact that if his harassment of my family and me continued he would cost his company $1000, which is the amount the lawyer I spoke with told me I would be able to get in judgment against USNB.

He started off trying to talk over me and resorted to yelling at several points, but I continued to speak in a calm, forceful voice and eventually he was silent. I told him one more call to my home, my sister or my place of employment would result in my telling the lawyer the law suit was on. He hung up on me.

My sister spoke with my nephew and explained that there are people out there who steal information they have no right to have and this was a case of that happening. She also told him again that when she is not home he is not to answer the phone unless he knows the person calling (they have caller ID).

I hope they do stop calling. Maybe they will now that you’ve shown you can’t be intimidated. What the consumer lawyer told you was correct, if USNB was actually a legit debt collector based in the US. Because they call from overseas using caller-ID spoofing and never give out their address, it’s unlikely you would be able to hit them for that $1000 statutory judgment.

PREVIOUSLY:
Interview: I Fought Off The US National Bank Scammers
Harassed By US National Bank “Debt Collectors?” Let’s Talk
Fake Debt Collectors Are Trying To Intimidate You Out Of Your Money

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Red_Flag says:

    Record the calls, via GrandCentral or something. Let them know they’re being recorded, every time they call. They’ll hang up, or they’ll bluster on and provide you with more ammo to hand your lawyer.

  2. se7a7n7 says:

    Yea, fax them your bank account, debit card and ss#s, that should clear EVERYTHING up.

  3. sprocket79 says:

    I got a call from the “IRS” last week saying that I owed back taxes and I would be thrown in jail if I didn’t pay immediately. I could not get the guy to shut the hell up, so I resorted to yelling over him. I told him I wasn’t a friggin’ moron and that I knew it was a scam and he better not call me again. And yes, it was a scam. First of all because the IRS doesn’t call anyone, especially without sending a letter first. Second of all because I know my own finances and I don’t owe the IRS anything. And lastly… because it ended up being a guy I had given my phone number to and he thought this would be a funny ice breaker. *sigh*

  4. dumblonde says:

    Under US law, can you be jailed for a debt? Where I live (in Puerto Rico), prison because of debt is forbidden in the Constitution. I’m sure some states have similar provisions in the Constitutions or laws to the matter but what about federal law?

    • em2thrasher says:

      @dumblonde: Debtor prison were gone a long time ago. It’s impossible to be jailed for debt here in the USA

    • se7a7n7 says:

      @dumblonde: You can be sent to jail for not paying child support. That’s actually something that I just can’t wrap my head around how that makes sense, but it’s true.

      • bullwhip6 says:

        @se7a7n7:

        The states rightly make a distinct difference between the penalties for not paying personal debts vs. familial responsibilities, especially when children are involved. If you knowingly shirk your child support responsibilities, then you should go to prison.

        • MauriceCallidice says:

          @bullwhip6: Yes, but if you don’t have the money, how are you going to pay of the debt in prison? Doing prison laundry at $4/hour?

          • humphrmi says:

            @MauriceCallidice: Child support payments are set as a percentage of income. If you don’t have the money, it’s because you blew it. If you don’t have income, you aren’t required to pay child support (while you don’t have income, but you are required to look for a job.) So the “I don’t have money WAH” bogus argument doesn’t hold water.

            • mac-phisto says:

              @dumblonde: you can’t be jailed for a debt, however you can be jailed for circumstances surrounding a debt. for example, if your creditor can prove that you never intended to repay the debt or that you obtained the debt under false pretense, you could be tried for fraud or larceny.

            • hunter3742 says:

              @humphrmi: That depends on the state. I know a couple people who’ve been jailed for unpaid child support (one a woman, one a guy) while out of work – here in Indiana, it’s a set amount and isn’t adjusted when income changes unless you file in court to change it – and it’s rarely, if ever, adjusted down.

      • Corporate-Shill says:

        @se7a7n7:

        Because there is a difference between refusal and unable.

      • CrowMignon says:

        @se7a7n7: IANAL, but: When you don’t pay child support you are not jailed for the debt, but for violating a court order. You can be released without paying anything, often by making a plan with the court to take care of what you owe (and proving you don’t have the ability to pay immediately.)

        That said, if there is a judgement against you for a debt and an order from the court to pay it, be prepared to be held in contempt and possibly jailed if you don’t. You have to cross some pretty serious lines with a judge to annoy him/her enough to do so, but it is possible…

    • Aevan says:

      @dumblonde: Puerto Rico is in the US :)

    • jamesuss says:

      @dumblonde: Considering that Puerto Rico is bound by US Constitutional law, I would say that it is a safe bet to assume that you can not go to jail in the United States for debt.

  5. Outrun1986 says:

    Reminds me of the people who used to call me after I graduated from college and asked me for my bank number, credit card number and SS number. The CC number was especially ironic since at the time I did not have a CC card to my name! Of course I was smart enough not to tell them any of that information.

  6. ILoveVermont says:

    Since he gave you a fax number, what would be the consequences of faxing him 10 or 20 thousand black sheets of paper (black, so it would use up all the toner in their fax machine). You could just fax the same black sheet over and over. Would it cost very much in phone charges? Maybe you could get him to provide a tollfree fax number!

    • jusooho says:

      @ILoveVermont: 99% chance he uses a computerized fax system, which means you wouldn’t be using up toner at all, and cost him only the time it takes to hit “delete” and block further faxes from your number.

  7. FLConsumer says:

    To the original poster, please contact your local FBI office. Make sure you use the words “bank fraud” somewhere early on to catch their attention.

  8. gatewaytoheaven says:

    I got a call like this last week!

    Here’s how it pretty much went:

    Me: Hello?

    Terrorist: I’m calling from xxx bank in regards to- (I don’t have an account with that bank)

    Me: Is this about the money?

    Terrorist: Yes, you o-

    Me: (loud) Listen man, your company owes me some money. I’m surprised you have the balls to call me after the five thousand dollars you stole from me.

    Terrorist: You need to fax your SS and CC info otherwise you’re going to jail!

    Me: m*********** i’m going to send you to jail! You fax your s*** to me right now or I will kill you all! (probably a lot more loud and expletive filled than above)

    Terrorist: *silence*

    Me: Go call your supervisor and tell him to send me my money right now. You’re calling a VOIP line that recognizes the address of who ever calls me. (ok, wtf, lol?) I will come and get you with the police.

    Terrorist: *click*

    And that is what I did before class started.

  9. banmojo says:

    sounds to me like a straight up phishing scam. some people scare easily, and would likely give all their info away. pays to be street smart. as always, ignorance is a choice.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @banmojo:

      The fact that they continue to call back seems to indicate the phishers think they have a live one.

      Another reason to never cooperate with telewhores.

  10. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    I got a call like this once. I told them to come get me, and gave them the address of the police station 2 towns over. I wonder if they ever showed up. I never did hear from them again.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @torgonius:

      I would give them the DA’s address instead of the police station. The police station is too obvious, but one of the clowns might be stupid enough to go the DA’s office. The results are similar as to going to the police station. Besides the DA has their own law enforcement types always hanging around with guns and badges.

  11. Corporate-Shill says:

    I have started using a form.

    Telewhore: “I need to speak to the owner/manger/wife/husband etc”.

    Me: “Great, no problem, give me a second to complete THE FORM”

    Me: “Your name”

    Me: “How do you spell “SAM”? “

    Me: “Jones, oh yes, I think I can spell that one”

    Me: “What city was that again?”

    Might take me five minutes to get to ask the name of their business. Remember TIME IS MONEY. Suckup as much of their time as possible will cause them to loose money and move onto easier marks.

  12. drjayphd says:

    See, if I ever got that, I’d like to think I’d be prepared…

    “Okay, so you want my Social Security number? Hang on, just got a new one… yeah, you can never be too careful these days…” (grabs airhorn)

  13. my_imaginary_friends_bore_me says:

    See this is the downside of not having a home phone, you dont get to mess with people like that.

    I used to worry about my Mom getting calls like that, then I realized that the scammers are the ones who will be in a world of hurt. :)

  14. kenblakely says:

    Anybody who falls for a scam like this is a ‘tard anyway. Financial darwinism at work…..

  15. Trencher93 says:

    Wonderful learning opportunity for the nephew. Kind of like the immunizations he’s getting from the doctor – little bits of the disease to build up his immunity – he can learn about scammers now and never fall for this sort of thing when he gets older. I’d use this as a teaching experience to show him there are bad people in the world, but these bad people have no power and can only play games.

  16. tator says:

    Anytime anyone calls me about something financial, I always am agreeable to what they are saying but tell them my one rule about sharing my personal information. I have to initiate the call (to verify who’s calling). I ask for their phone number so I can immediately call back. No one has yet to give me their number. I don’t intend to call back.

  17. thebluepill says:

    The retuns for this scam are probably REALLY high!

    Imagine 20-30 minutes of phone time to net hundreds or even thousands of dollars.. Its worth it if only 2% cave in for these criminals.

  18. MeOhMy says:

    I have a couple questions:
    #1. Why don’t you have caller ID?

    #2. If you do have caller ID, why in heaven’s name would you ever answer if you do not recognize the number, if it is an 800 number, if the caller ID comes up blocked, private, invalid, etc?

    #3. If for some strange reason you actually do answer one of these calls, why do you engage the caller any longer than it takes for your “scam alarm” to kick in and then IMMEDIATELY HANG UP?!

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Troy F.: Its very easy to spoof a number these days, local news had a story on it. They can spoof it to any number so it shows as something important on your caller ID but when you answer its really a scam or a telemarketer. Its just one more way they try to get you. That is the reason why people pick up the phone.

  19. BPorche says:

    Dude, what are you guys doing? Why dont you just pick up the phone (do not say anything) and leave it on the table while you play some Rick Astley music?

    That is all you need to do. :-)

    • AuntieEm (robots from the year 2000 > zombies) says:

      @BPorche: hahhahaha I personally love this idea

      another great one is the Oompa Loompa song really loud

  20. Swifty says:

    Telemarketer: Okay sir, may I have your credit card number?

    Me: Sure. It’s 17.

    {Awkward silence}

    Telemarketer: Sir, I need your credit card number in order to process this.

    Me: I just told you. It’s 17.

    Telemarketer: It’s the number on the front of your card.

    Me: I know. I have one of the very first cards issued.

    On and on like that for about 3 minutes. The telemarketer finally hung up on me. It was oddly gratifying.

  21. amuro98 says:

    Do phone lines or VOIP have noise protection or reduction technology on them?

    I mean, what would happen if you simply took an airhorn and blasted it point-blank into your headset?

    Would that be considered assault?

    That might be a neat gadget to whip up. A box connected to your phone with a big red button under a plastic cover (to prevent accidental firing.) The box would be simply transmit a very loud sound on the line while the button is pressed. When you get a call from a telemarketer, flip up the cover and blast the marketer’s eardrums into oblivion.

    Short of the “telephone spiders” from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, I’d be satisfied with something like this.

  22. bagumpity says:

    I’ve said this before. Please, if one of us Consumerists gets a call like this, don’t hang up. Do everything in your power to keep them on the line(except for capitulating, of course). Really. Your goal should be a minimum of 1/2 hour airtime. Every minute you keep the scammers on the line is a minute they are not on the phone with someone who isn’t capable of resisting the scam.

    There are dozens of things you can do to drag out the conversation. Waste time finding a pen and then more time finding something to write on and then pretend the pen didn’t work and you need to find another one. Forget things and ask to have them repeated. Pretend you don’t understand and get them to explain. Speak as slowly as possible. Ask them to speak slower.

    As someone posted above, time is money. The more of their time we waste, the less money they scam. The motto is “Keep ‘em Hanging.”

    One last thing: If at any time it appears they are becoming threatening or you perceive any danger to yourself, hang up and seek help from law enforcement. Your safety is more important than their irritation.

  23. Kathryn Lein Gilleon says:

    Wanda who is like a sister to me got a call from a Jimmy Eliff from U S National Bank telling Her she had one hour to pay up for a loan she recieved in May of 2009, Or He was going to take action and have Her arrested. US National Bank is a fruad. If anyone gets a call from them call your local police department ASAP!