Steve, name changed for his protection, found himself bedeviled by fraudulent debt collectors. They bought his personal information from an online payday loan site where he had applied for a loan but never actually took it out. They called him constantly, threatening to send him to jail and take him to court. In this situation, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act didn’t matter. They were overseas scammers who didn’t care about American law, bulling people into paying debts they never incurred. The only way to stop them was by changing all his phone numbers. That’s where using Google Voice came in.
Here’s what you do:
Pro Tip – call the fraudsters with a Google Voice number before turning off your old phone numbers. Make sure when you call you identify yourself so they can start up their script. At any point after they have your information pulled up just hang up. They will then start religiously calling your Google Voice number. At this point, you are free to change your regular phone number(s) and enjoy not having these people ever call you again. (And laugh at the fact these people are basically talking to a brick wall several times a day)
Bear in mind that if you have a legal debt that you’re obligated to pay, you should probably try to pay it. But if you’re getting harassed by scammers who will never stop, shunting them off to a Google Voice number that you can dispose of may be your only option.
Here is Steve’s site where he documents his ordeal and gives advice to others in the same situation: Payday Loan Collection Scheme / Get the Facts!