Possible Payday Loan Collection Scam
August 8, 2011
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has received complaints from consumers regarding Cashadvanceusa.com contacting them at their home and work telephone numbers regarding supposedly delinquent payday loans.
In some instances, the consumer has never even applied for any kind of payday loan. In others, the consumer applied online for a payday loan but withdrew the application or it was denied. Subsequently, the consumer would start receiving collections calls. The representatives who call on behalf of Cashadvanceusa.com make numerous and repeated harassing telephone contacts with the consumer, sometimes threatening legal action unless the consumer pays the requested fees.
The callers are also reported to have contacted consumers’ relatives or other references. These callers may identify themselves as attorneys, law enforcement officers (sometimes referencing a badge number), working for the “Legal Department” or even the “Department of Crime Investigations.”
Consumers have reported that, in some instances, the caller has identifying information such as checking account information, social security information, and other nonpublic personal information.
Consumers have reported that Cashadvanceusa.com is tied to various telephone numbers, including 817-962-6030. One call made by DFI was answered, but the person who responded would not give any further information. Other calls to this telephone number either result in a message indicating that the respondent is not available, or that the number is disconnected.
Cashadvanceusa.com is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions as a payday lender or check casher or seller in Washington State. Additionally, Cashadvanceusa.com is not registered with the Washington State Department of Revenue, the Office of the Secretary of State to do business in Washington, or at the Department of Licensing Master Business Division.
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says debt collectors must send consumers a written notice within five days of their first phone call, showing how much the consumer owes and where the debt is from. The law says collectors can not say or even imply that nonpayment is a crime. Collectors can't call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Collectors are not allowed to speak to a consumer’s employer about their debt. They are prohibited from harassing or abusing consumers and they must stop calling if the consumer asks them to.
These kinds of contacts should also be reported to federal law enforcement authorities. You may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation online: www.fbi.gov or by telephone: (202) 324-3000.
We also suggest contacting the Federal Trade Commission online: www.ftc.gov or toll free: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Complainants have also had some success contacting their local telephone carrier’s nuisance department to stop calls.
If the caller has indicated they may know private information, such as your Social Security number, other account numbers, or contact information for work or other associates, you should take steps to protect yourself against identity theft. There is information on the FTC website about steps to take to protect yourself from identity theft, and what to do to protect yourself in the event you are a victim of identity theft.