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Consumer Briefs / Fraud

Warning on fake debt collectors

August 09, 2009|Times Staff And Wire Reports

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about phony debt collectors.

The watchdog organization issued a national alert about calls coming from lawyers claiming to be from the Financial Accountability Assn. or the Federal Legislation of Unsecured Loans. The callers say that the consumer has defaulted on a payday loan and will be immediately arrested and extradited to California to stand trial unless as much as $1,000 is wired or the consumer provides bank account or credit card numbers.

Armed with potential victims' personal information -- including Social Security numbers, old bank account or driver's license numbers, home addresses or employer information -- the scammers reportedly have been calling from numbers in area codes that include 949, 415, 213 and 408.

The Better Business Bureau recommends that consumers ask to see official documentation and avoid providing or confirming any numbers or personal information until the legitimacy of the call is verified. If the caller is abusive or makes threats, consumers can complain to the Federal Trade Commission online, or file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau online.

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