The short answer to this question is NO! This question usually comes to me or my colleagues from a frightened victim of this “payday loan scam” after they have been contacted by a self labeled “collector” plying intimidating scare tactics to collect on a debt. Many times the victim does not even owe these so called “collectors” and it is just a scammer that has obtained the victim’s information via public records. These scammers then try to intimidate the victim into paying some money on the spot.
How to Handle Payday Loan Scams
Do Not Give Out Personal Information
The first and foremost best advice that I can give a potential victim is to NOT give the caller any personal information at all, including bank account numbers, debit card numbers or social security numbers.
Contact Law Enforcement If You’ve Been Threatened
The normal scenario is that a person will receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be a federal officer. This person tells the victim that there is a warrant for their arrest for default on a payday loan. The caller will then offer the victim an “opportunity” to get out of the warrant by paying the debt over the phone by debit card. Sometimes, they will threaten to come to your place of employment the next day and arrest the victim. I have heard of some that actually threaten bodily harm. If you receive or have received threats of this nature and fear for your safety, contact local law enforcement immediately.
Of course, these types of collection efforts are in clear violation of the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), however, the overwhelming majority of these calls come from off shore call centers making it impossible to prosecute them. Many of these calls are “ghosted” through a U.S. telephone number making them seem more real. The caller will never comply with a request to provide proof of the debt in writing.
In brief, short of proving that a victim has committed fraud, a collector or payday loan company cannot arrest you for defaulting on your payday loan. The only entity who can bring any criminal charges against you is the district attorney of the county that you live in.
Contacted an Experienced Collection Harassment Attorney
If you have received similar calls or any collection calls and are struggling with debt, please contact our office that is nearest to you. You will be given the opportunity to schedule a free, initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys to review your debt situation and share the option that our office has to help you.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.