News & Resources

Telemarketing firm poses as debt collection agency

Jul 28, 2011 Mike Garretson

An illegal debt collection operation in Tampa, Florida, was recently raided by Volusia County sheriffs after it was learned that the company had swindled more than $50,000 from victims nationwide, the News-Journal reports. According to court records, American Debt Specialists was charged with falsifying an application with the Florida Department of Agriculture, as well as employing unlicensed sales personnel and acting as an unregistered debt collector. The company had been registered with the state as a telemarketing firm and with the Department of Agriculture as a commercial telephone seller. ADS would allegedly call people at random to inform them of outstanding debts they had accrued from internet purchases that occurred years prior. However, when questioned, some agents at the company admitted they were unaware whether the debts were actually real. It was determined that the company acted in violation of the Florida Telemarketing Act, and is subject to two third-degree felonies and one misdemeanor. AllBusiness points out that earlier this year, an Illinois appellate judge ruled that funds obtained by an unregistered debt collection agency are considered void.