Fargo Police warn about debt collection agency posing as lawyers

Published: Aug. 29, 2017 at 2:46 PM CDT
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The Fargo Police Department is warning about debt collection operation out of North Carolina that was posing as lawyers to get people to pay up.

In a post on Nextdoor, Police discuss a Federal Trade Commission case where a debt collection agency from Charlotte, NC pretended to be lawyers, using “a variety of names to make people think they were dealing with a law firm.” The post goes on to say the imposters told people they called had to get current with payments on a payday loan or other debt, threatening them with arrest, jail time or a lawsuit. And they were required to pay with credit or debit cards over the phone.

The post says callers had personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers and even the names of relatives. It’s believed this information was being used to help convince people the calls were legitimate and they had to pay. And the FTC says many people were pressured into paying debts they never owed.

The FTC says you cannot be arrested for not paying your bills. They advise if a debt collector calls, ask for written proof saying how much you owe, to whom you should pay and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money. By law, debt collectors must send you a validation notice within five days after they contact you.

Debt collection complaints account for nearly one-third of complaints to the FTC.