Payday loan lending has been around for years making it possible for consumers to have access to fast cash without worrying about credit worthiness or approval waiting times. Financial emergencies often times require money in a hurry and most “traditional” lenders, such as banks and credit unions, don’t offer the timeliness that is equally matched to payday lenders. With these types of short-term loans, consumers are expected to pay back what they borrow within a small-time frame; usually with their next paycheck. Lenders use their own collectors to deal with defaulted payments but identity thieves have found their own way to try and collect on these loans, and unfortunately many consumers are falling for this!
Payday loan lenders, also know as providers of “small dollar loans”, withdraw loan payments from the borrower’s bank account on or around the same day that the borrower’s paycheck goes in their bank account. In the event that the money is not available for repayment, the lender will most likely be willing to make payment arrangement’s with the borrow in an effort to see them repay their loan successfully. If that doesn’t work, then a collector will get involved. It will most likely be someone from the payday loan lending company, or perhaps a third-party collector. Lenders will never get the police involved nor will the seek out the FBI to regain their lost funds.
A recent fraudulent act has identity thieves posing as FBI agents trying to scare consumers into paying off payday loan debt that they may not even owe. Using ID spoofing technology, consumers answer their phones seeing “Federal Investigations” on their caller ID. The impersonator on the other end of the line then claims they are an FBI agent who has been monitoring the call recipient’s online activity as a payday loan borrower. While the unsuspecting victim on the telephone may or may not have a payday loan account, the thief posing as an FBI agent will threaten legal action, and even jail, if not paid by wire-transfer or pre-paid debit card. These thieves may even have access to a person’s address, place of work, or social security number.
Consumers need to know that regardless of any loans held, these so-called FBI agents are phonies and have no power to collect any type of money whatsoever. In the event that you do receive a phone from someone claiming they are an FBI agent and that they are looking for a payday loan payoff, here are a few things to keep in mind:
*Any money exchanged via wire transfer or prepaid debt card cannot be reversed or tracked. It’s like sending cash,which is why the person calling will request that you send funds that way. Once you pay them, you will have no chance of getting your money back.
*If you are in fact solicited by one of these impersonators, hang up and don’t call them back. While you may feel you want to “set them straight” it’s not worth getting into a confrontation and risking giving them information that they can use against you later.
*Be sure to report the incident to your local police department; especially if you feel threatened.
*While you may have have caller ID and it is correct most of the time in identifying your callers, don’t believe it if it says “FBI”. Caller ID spoofing has made it possible for perpetrators to pretend they are anything from representatives from your utility company to immigration authorities.
*If you do decide to speak with the caller, ask then to provide an official “validation” of the debt. The law requires that they do this and include the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt, and a statement of your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If the “collector” is not willing to provide you with the information you are requesting, then hang up. This is a sure sign that they are not legitimate.