News & Resources

Fraudulent debt collector epidemic continues in North Carolina

Jul 11, 2011 Mike Garretson

The Office of the North Carolina Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division continues to deal with a rise in the number of fraudulent debt collection phone calls being reported by consumers, according to the Huntersville Herald. The latest reports come on the heels of a wave of intimidating calls from people claiming to be from the fictitious debt recovery service, Federal State Bureau of North Carolina. The callers violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening to arrest consumers who didn't pay them. This goes against the provision set by the FDCPA that states "debt collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse (the debtor) or any third parties they contact." According to Attorney General Roy Cooper, investigators are still trying to ascertain how information is obtained by the scammers, but online loan and credit card applications are thought to be a likely source. He warned consumers to be cautious about providing their personal financial information. Legitimate debt collection agencies can differentiate themselves from fraudsters by providing written proof of debt. Additionally, they are bound by the FDCPA, which prevents them from making threats, using profanity and calling an excessive number of times.