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3 On Your Side: Pay Day Loan Scam

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Need money fast? If you’re thinking of getting one of those pay day loans, you may want to think twice. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan explains that some customers are reporting that they’re getting more than they bargained for.

Don Frasinella needed cash fast. He says, “My bank account was running low and I had some bills coming up.”

So he took out an on-line pay day loan and now he’s paying for it. For more than a year, Frascinella’s been getting threatening calls from individuals with heavy accents saying he’s late with his payments, even though he’s not! They’re even threatening legal action and arrest.

One caller said the following in a taped voicemail message, “This is Austin Jones from the United States legal investigation department. There might be a lawsuit filed against your name as well as your Social Security number.”

Consumer Advocate Joe Ridout says thousands of people who’ve applied for on-line pay-day loans are getting similar calls.

He says, “We’re not certain exactly how the information got into the scammers hands. It could be the internet payday lender sold the information, it could be the internet payday lender was hacked.”

Watch the video…

So how do you know if the call is from a “legitimate” debt collector?

Attorney John Chavez says they have to be able to provide proof of the debt in writing within 30 days.

According to Chavez, “If they can’t come up with that proof, they are not entitled to collect the debt.”

Experts say if you do get one of these calls, don’t engage with the caller and make a note of the incoming number so you’ll know not to answer again.


Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide For Consumers

Reported By: Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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  • Jill Alicea

    I have been getting these calls – they always say it is “Officer So-and-So” and it’s always someone with a heavy Indian accent speaking poor English. The incoming number is either from a blocked number or comes up “0000”. I ask them to provide me info in writing, and they sidestep the question. One actually told me on a voicemail “If you fail to pay this…well…then good luck to you, you’ll be seeing a jail cell soon.” I reported them to the FTC and BBB, and followed their advice. They told me to advise them immediately that, by failing to provide pertinent contact info for their company or info on the supposed debt, they were in violation of the Fair Credit Protection Act. I also told them I was recording their call so I could play it back for the attorney I had retained. I don’t have an attorney in this, but the threat must have worked – the calls have gone from 5 or more a day down to 1-2 a month!

  • mary

    I was a victim of these fake payday loan scams though they said they were with COOPER LAW FIRM (which is actually a law firm in the south). I have videos on YouTube of the actually calls if you want to listen to them (quite a few of the videos). They are under the user name: mrakuLus

  • Tina

    Going though the EXACT same thing. Took out a loan with 500fast cash not even a week ago. They are taking money out of my account and it’s not even being applied to my loan! AND I got a threatening voice mail from some terrorist sounding guy saying it was the “legal department” and that I owed $730, and that I had to fax them a copy of my license. The number on my caller ID wasn’t even a legit number. It was just a few zeros

  • Terri

    going through the same problem , but they are taking money out of our back account $855.00 for a $400 online cash loan , and they say we still owe $385.00

  • Mary O'Gorman

    File under a very hard lesson learned.

    • marykay eobbi

      i feel the same way…very hard listen indeed…

  • CC

    This has nothing to do with the above story, just a quesion i didn’t know where to post. EYEWITNESS NEWS-WHY ISN’T MAYFAIR LISTED ON YOUR LIST OF NEIGHBORHOODS??????????????


    Can I sell you a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge? Why do people fall for this junk, before checking to see if “its to good to be true”.

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