Authorities: Debt-Collector Scam Bilked Millions

U.S. authorities say they've broken up a phone scam in which callers in India posed as debt collectors to bilk millions of dollars out of more than 10,000 U.S. residents.

Officials say callers used threats of arrest or the loss of their jobs, and that the first-of-its-kind investigation may have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg.

Federal Trade Commission official Steven Baker says callers drew on personal data snatched from payday loan websites, though it's uncertain how that information was obtained. More than 20 million calls may have been placed over the past two years, with collectors demanding between $300 and $2,000 per call.

Baker says the fraud with so many millions of calls flooding in from India is something investigators haven't seen before and was fostered in part by the plummeting costs of international calls.


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  • by Shine Location: NE NC on Feb 23, 2012 at 04:31 AM
    I don't have a land line so it is not easy to find me although some of accounts must sell my information. A restricted number on my phone is never answered and if I answer a strange call - and it begins w/ an automated response......... Hang up - See Ya- The rest of the junkola I just say that I have their numbers and will be reported to the Attorney General of NC... Want to really get rid of them if you are creative? Start some type of story if you have the time = but do it year to year like you born in 32... Go through the depression and WW1, Korea, Vietnam, the first car you had, walking 5 miles to school...... they don't normally last long. LOL
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Feb 23, 2012 at 05:22 AM in reply to Shine
      LoL @ creating stories; my husband does that. It's really funny to hear him and they always hang up on him. I keep telling him not to answer those bogus calls, but I think he likes 'jerking their chain'.
  • by Mortie Location: Paradise on Feb 23, 2012 at 03:41 AM
    Nothing worse than blind sheep wandering around in search of a leader. Payday Loans??? Get what you deserve I guess.
  • by MJ Location: Greenville on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:39 PM
    I love to mess with their minds when they call... I ask them if they are naked? Yep, they don't know what to say and hang up.
  • by Office Mgr. Location: Greenville on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM
    When I get those crazy calls offering me a 35% reduced rate on my long distance with Centurylink. I laugh in their ear and say,"That's really interesting because I have unlimited long distance at the lowest rate they offer, so are you telling me I can get it for free?" CLICK!
  • by Scammer Location: anywhere on Feb 22, 2012 at 03:47 PM
    I`ll stop all these scam calls, just give me your card number and pin......
  • by I'm gonna miss them Location: Greenville, NC on Feb 22, 2012 at 12:38 PM
    Part of my last job was answering phones..these people would ALWAYS call..10x in a row. It got to the point where he was threatening to send people to find the employee. He even started to call out my co-workers social security number over the phone. We got to the point where we had fun with it...they are so easy to mess with lol.
  • by proracer1949 Location: greenville on Feb 22, 2012 at 09:28 AM
    Wow, snake oil I am impressed that you can spell India. You and people like you are what is wrong with this country today. Why can't everyone work together for the good of our country and all its people. Before pointing fingers at the democrats or the republicans look at ways we all could work together. People should quit making stupid comments that just show their own ignorance, this means both parties!
  • by Thank Goodness on Feb 22, 2012 at 09:20 AM
    So glad they are breaking this up. Have had numerous calls from them and they use very fowl language. I agree banks do call along with debt collectors but they don't cuss at you. I just tell them my attorney will be calling them and they don't call back.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Feb 22, 2012 at 08:37 AM
    I see the DNC is conducting its annual fundraiser drive from India....
  • by FICO over 800 always on Feb 22, 2012 at 08:01 AM
    Call my home and talk to my answering machine if I don't recognize your ID.
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