Debt Collection Scam Leads to Criminal Charges
If you are being pursued by a debt collector you should be extremely careful. Scams are nothing new, but their frequency has been increasing all over the United States. The goal of many of these scams is to collect non-existent debts from consumers using illegal debt collection practices. In some cases, the scams even cross national borders and involve individuals in other countries. Recently, a California man was implicated in this type of case during an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Kirit Patel ran a debt collection agency with a call center in India. The Indian representatives would make calls to individuals living in the United States claiming that they were trying to collect a debt from them. The problem was that most of these debts were fictional and as a result many of the consumers did not remember incurring them. Patel’s group called over a half of a million different United States phone number and made almost 3 million calls to Americans in attempts to collect non-existent debts.
Patel’s group also used illegal debt collection practices. They deceived consumers by claiming to be law enforcement and making serious, but fictitious threats to their families. They also harassed consumers by calling them multiple times in one day, sometimes one right after the other. The operation collected over $5 million before the FTC caught up with them.
The FTC charged Patel with over 20 counts of wire and mail fraud. He pleaded guilty to four counts and is now awaiting sentencing which should take place in early 2015. He could go to prison for 20 years and/or be responsible for a hefty fine.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector and believe that it is a scam, you should contact an attorney to verify that you are the victim of fraud. California law firm Fitzgerald Campbell handles these matters and all matters relating to credit card lawsuits and collections harassment. Call (866) 927-8289 for a consultation today.
Posted in: Collection Harassment