Has a debt collector called and threatened you?Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said Tuesday to hang up and file a complaint.Suthers office issued a warning that fraudulent and threatening debt-collectors are calling people in Colorado. The calls often involve a supposed payday loan debt consumers have incurred, according to a news release.Officials said the callers are using a variety of business names and have even invoked the Office of the Attorney General or the name of the attorney general to swindle consumers. According to the complaints, the fraudulent debt collectors threaten consumers with legal action unless they make immediate payment of their debts."Colorado law affords consumers protections against fraudulent or abusive debt collectors," Suthers said. "Consumers should not hesitate to report any instances of debt-related fraud or threats to my office as well as local authorities."Consumers have told the Attorney General's Office that the callers have a variety of foreign accents and have basic personal information about the consumers including their name, address and the last four digits of their Social Security number.Officials said the callers have used a variety of generic and government-sounding company names, including:
Affidavit Consolidation Services American Law Division Crime Protection & Investigation Cyber Crime Division Department of Law & Investigations Federal Fraud Investigations Federal Investigations Company Federal Crime Investigations Criminal Bureau of Identity Investigation Services National Affidavit Processing Center/Department National Bureau of Crime Investigations National Check Restitution National Criminal Center United Client Suspect Department United Financial Crime Department United Nation Legal Department U.S. Crime Suspect Department U.S. Justice Department/Payday Loan DivisionAccording to the Office of the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Section, here's what you can do:
If a collection agency or debt collector threatens you in any way, hang up and file a complaint with Attorney General's office. If a collection agency or debt collector declines to provide you with a record of the debt, hang up and file a complaint. If you dispute a debt a collection agency attributed to you in a timely fashion, the collection agency must provide some proof that you actually owe the debt before contacting you again. If you would like to have a collection agency stop calling you at work or home, you must send a letter to the collection agency. A phone call is not sufficient. Once a collection agency receives your letter, they are barred from contacting you. If you inform a debt collector that you are not the subject of the debt, they must stop calling you. You do not have a right to make partial payments unless the collection agency agrees to such an arrangement. When dealing with debt collectors, keep copies of all of your correspondence, including any payments. After you have asked a debt collection agency to stop contacting you, for whatever reason, they may only contact you via a lawsuit.If you believe they have been defrauded or harassed by a debt collection agency, real or fake, file a complaint online on the attorney general's website or over the phone at 303-866-5304.You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online on the F.T.C.'s website or over the phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).