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Advice About Calls From a Scam Collector

I had an attorney call me about a payday loan who basically told me that I would go to jail for internet fraud? Is this true?

I had an attorney call me 9/25/08 over an unpaid payday loan. I was on the phone with my mother, this attorney beeped in and he said I owed money from a payday loan taken out in 2006. I told him to mail me the info I don't have time right now to set up a payment plan. He said and I quote, "Don't have time, ok, hire yourself a good lawyer because the state police will be picking you up from your home within a week for internet fraud and you'll be serving 10 years." and he hung up. I didn't get his name, but his phone number was 512-340-0745. Where is that?

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Bill's Answer
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Area code 512 is the area around Austin, Texas. I searched online for the number you provided in your question (512-340-0745), and I found that these “attorneys” have been calling consumers all over the country making similar threats. They also claim to be “inspectors," “investigators,” and, my favorite, “bounty hunters.” Regardless of what these muckraker collectors may say, you cannot be arrested for owing any consumer debt such as a credit card or payday loan. In fact, making such threats is a violation of federal law (the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act).

Any collection agency that would operate in such a cavalier and illegal manner is very likely a scam; I would strongly encourage you not to make any payment until the collector provides you with full documentation of the debt, including a loan agreement signed by you and a breakdown of how it calculated the balance it claims you owe. Because of this collector's possible violation of state and federal collection laws, I would encourage you to file complaints with your state's Attorney General's Office and with the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, you may wish to contact a consumer rights attorney in your area to discuss filing a lawsuit against this company, though pursuing legal action may be difficult due to the lack of identifying information provided by the caller.

As I mentioned, many people on the Internet report receiving similar calls from this same number. In fact, your question sparked my memory of these same people calling one of my co-workers making similar threats, so apparently this is a widespread operation. If you visit, you can read the reports of other consumers who have been called by these collectors. As you will see, others have reported them to various state and federal regulatory agencies. Hopefully, these government agencies will quickly follow up on these consumer complaints and put a stop to these harassing phone calls. If you receive any more calls from this company, I would strongly encourage you to log the time, date, name of the caller, company name, and exactly what is said. If your state law permits you to do so, you may also want to record any telephone calls you receive from this collector so that you can substantiate your claims; however, make sure to check your state laws regarding the recording of telephone calls to make sure that you can legally record incoming phone calls.

This collector cannot follow through on the threats he is making, and is breaking the law by harassing you in this manner. I strongly encourage you to report these calls to the appropriate authorities so that they can investigate this company and prevent further abuse.

I wish you the best of luck in stopping these phone calls.

I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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  • IM
    Moreno Valley, CA,
    Jan, 2012
    I have been receiving phone calls from a "state license processor"at work accusing me of defaulting on a payday loan 2 years ago from a company I do not identify. The caller has the name of an old bank account of mine and some of my personal info. I have had payday loans before and they are all paid off, but I do not recognize the company they are telling me about. They threaten me with being served at work and they say I could avoid the accusations by paying them. I communicated to them that I did not feel comfortable paying over the phone for something I am not certain about, and I requested a written notice of the debt but they told me that they were a "mediation company" and therefore it was too late to send me any written information. One of the subjects I spoke to said they could only give me a written document through being served because they wanted to make sure the debt was paid. I am trying to do my homework and get informed as much as I can, but I do not know what I should do. They told me that if I get served it could affect my credit, and even though they are not threatening me to put me in jail, their calls at work are causing me trouble and stress. I would love to hear some advice. Thank you
    • BA
      Feb, 2012
      Everything you shared about the caller leads me to conclude you are dealing with a fake debt collector. First, do not pay anyone who claims you owe a debt based on their word alone. Second, validate the debt. Pay a debt the caller can validate. If it cannot, or claims it does not need to, then you are dealing with a scam artist. Third, the next time this person calls, get his or her name and address, and send a case communications notice. Finally, report everything you learn about the caller to your state attorney general.