A debt collection
scam has been uncovered in Nobles County, Minnesota, after county attorney Gordon Moore began to receive reports that someone claiming to be from his office had been calling county residents and demanding immediate payments, according to the Worthington Daily Globe.
"The fraudsters have threatened to garnish a person’s paycheck, submit affidavits to the court against a person or send an official to serve the person with a summons," said the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, as reported by the news source. The callers have abused numerous practices that legitimate collectors must adhere to, including using the names of public officials and making repeated harassing phone calls, the latter of which violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. "Impersonating someone else, terrifying people…it is against the law," Moore explained, as quoted by the news source. "Apparently the callers were very aggressive, and got even more hostile when [the victim who reported the scam] asked questions." The state attorney general's office has advised anyone who receives similar phone calls not to be intimidated, even if the caller provides accurate personal information. Allied Interstate - one of the state's largest debt collectors - recently paid $90,000 to settle allegations that it harassed and threatened Oregon consumers, according to Star Tribune.