Wave Of Fake Debt Collectors Hints At Possible Data Breach

The Better Business Bureau has released a warning to be aware of scammers calling to threaten people with arrest “within the hour” for defaulting on payday loans. What makes them stand out from normal debt collecting scammers is these callers have huge amounts of personal info on their victims, including Social Security and drivers license numbers; old bank account numbers; names of employers, relatives, and friends; and home addresses.

“Because the scammers have so much information about potential victims, BBB is concerned that this may be the result of a data breach,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “Thousands of people may have had their personal information compromised, and given the scammers’ tactics, it appears that those who have previously used payday loan services could be particularly at risk.”

According to reports received by BBB and posted online, the scammers accuse the victim of defaulting on a payday loan and claim they are being sued. The phony debt collector threatens that, if the victim doesn’t pay as much as $1,000 immediately via wire or by providing bank account or credit card numbers, he or she will be arrested and extradited to California within the hour to stand trial.

As always with debt collectors, know your rights and be prepared to make some demands of the caller before you cooperate with anything they request. Here are three great places to start:

“Debunking The Debt Collectors’ Spin Doctors”
Consumerist tag search: “debt collection”
Consumerist tag search: “debt collectors”

“Widespread Harassment from Phony Debt Collectors Raises Concerns of Mass Data Breach” [BetterBusinessBureau]
(Photo: _FXR)