Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Debt Collection Scam

February 29, 2012

Warning for Scammers Posing As:

Consumers have reported that they have been contacted by individuals claiming to represent Insight Capital/TTG Services/M. Callahan & Associates, LLC using the representative name of "Brad Owens." The representative has called from telephone number 800-402-4043 and has been reported to threaten criminal charges for check fraud, and other behavior not compliant with federal and state collection agent laws.

Efforts to obtain the identity of the individuals by contacting the telecommunications service provider were not successful.

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has no other verifiable leads regarding the identity or location of the perpetrators of this debt collection scam.

Complainants have had some success contacting their local telephone carrier’s nuisance department to stop calls.

How to Report -  If You're A Victim

If you feel you have been victimized by these individuals, and you reside in Washington State, you may file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions by contacting the Consumer Services Division at 360-902-8703, or by filing a complaint at www.dfi.wa.gov/cs/complaint.htm.

You may also file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. For more information, See Filing a complaint at the Attorney General’s website at www.atg.wa.gov, or call toll free 1-80-551-4636 for assistance. (TTY: 1-800-276-9883).

Collection Agencies Threatening You?

Washington State law prohibits intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct in connection with the collection of a debt.

The Washington State Department of Licensing can take disciplinary action against a collection agency’s license if they violate the Washington State Collection Agency Act. If you feel your rights have been violated, call the Washington State Department of Licensing at 360-664-1421. File a complaint with the Department of Licensing at www.dol.wa.gov.

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). (TTY: 1-866-653-4261).

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.

Debt Collection Laws

The Washington State Collection Agency Act, RCW 19.16: The Washington State Collection Agency Act took effect on January 1, 1972, and is enforced by the Department of Licensing and the Washington State Collection Agency Board. The law is intended to protect consumers and stop abusive practices by debt collectors.

The law does:

The law doesn’t:

Collection agencies aren’t allowed to disclose your debt to a third party, except under the specific circumstances in RCW 19.16.250(9).

Collection agents aren’t allowed to misrepresent themselves:

When contacting you, collection agencies aren’t allowed to:

Collection agents aren’t allowed to collect or try to collect:

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