By Jim Donovan

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.”

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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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