U.S court has put a freeze on a telemarketing operation which is said to be responsible for extracting over 5 million dollars in fake debt collection fees.
FTC filed charges against 3 defendants, In-Arabia Solutions, Broadway Global Master Inc and Kirit Patel, and put a request to immediately halt their operations or “irreparable harm will result from Defendants’ ongoing violations”
The trio is accused of managing an operation in which call center employees would call US households pretending to be law enforcement agents.
The agency alleges that call center employees used obscene and threatening language while trying to extort money for debts that didn’t exist.
It’s believed that some of the victims were contacted after they filled up payday loan application forms, which included personal information such as bank account numbers. When fake debt collectors presented this information it made them seem more authentic.
One victim reports receiving a call from officer “Johnson” who had a thick accent and a lot of private information. The so-called officer demanded an immediate payment of a debt and threatened to call the victim’s neighbors and also the victim’s boss. The “officer” also provided the victim’s address and said that he’s been following him around all day. This convinced the victim to send the money. Other reports allege that scam artists would follow through with their threats and call the victims’ entourage.
An internet search for “Broadway Global Master” and “In-Arabia Solutions” shows consumer sites filled with complaints and similar stories. In some instances the company representatives are accused of making threats of violence such as “we will drag you out by your feet from your work” or “you better pray to god this debt is paid in 48 hours”.
Another victim was told that her children will be taken away from her if the “debt” is not paid.
The call center employees asked to pay the non-existent debt using Prepraid credit cards and Western-Union money transfers, both these methods are often used by telephone scammers because once the money is sent it becomes almost impossible to trace.
FTC accuses the defendants of lying that they’re law enforcement agents, lying about representing the government and their ability to arrest the victims. They’re also accused of phone harassment with intent to abuse and harm.
Consumers should be weary of such calls and ask for written proof of debt.
If you receive a similar call report it to the police and to consumer watchdog sites such as whycall.me