It’s pretty scary when a $300 payday loan turns into an investigation by the Federal Crimes Bureau.
Not only was the recipient of the collection letter below being “investigated for crimes”, his Social Security number would be suspended, and a court case initiated against him immediately.
At great cost and embarrassment.
Unless, of course, he sent the writer money.
The writer assures him that it will go so much better for him if he just pays up.
Except, while the debt referenced may be real, the collector is not.
This is a scam. A frightening, but false, debt collection scam.
How debt collection scam works
The scammer here got possession of enough information about a real debt to construct a scary threat. If my friend who got this letter didn’t send them money, “before his legal file is downloaded inside the courthouse”, all kinds of ugly things would happen.
And it managed to scare my friend, because he does have an unpaid pay day loan.
Because the debt referenced is real, it’s easy to conclude that the rest of this parade of horribles is real as well.
The fake collector plays on guilt about not paying a real debt; on ignorance about how collection law works; and on fear of being exposed to friends and associates as a “bad person”.
More on scams from the CFPB, a real government agency.
Signature features of scam
Let’s look at each of the ways the scammer shaded the truth in the collection letter.
Real debt collectors are not generally paragons of elegant writing, but they can usually write a competent English sentence. Not this scammer.
Try reading one of the sentences in this collection letter out loud, and you’ll see in a moment that this writer does not speak English as a first language.
Whether the writer is a Nigerian con artist or whether he hails from somewhere else, his mangled English is a give away that he isn’t who he says he is.
Claim that non payment is a crime
The scammer claims that the the “FCB” has been called in because the creditor is treating non payment as a crime.
Only, of course, there is no federal agency called the Federal Crimes Bureau.
And not paying a debt is not a crime. We don’t jail people for owing money.
Not to mention that the federal government doesn’t prosecute real crimes when only $1280 is involved.
And, real crimes are not settled by paying the government employee money to avoid prosecution.
Threat to suspend Social Security number
The scammer reports that the recipient’s Social Security number has been put on hold by the government. The threat is, I guess, that the victim will find himself unable to prove his identity.
Only the government doesn’t suspend Social Security numbers as a punishment for bad acts other than, perhaps, scamming the Social Security Administration.
And certainly the government doesn’t involve itself in punishing citizens on the unproven allegations of one party against another.
Don’t fall for fake collectors
These three signs of a scam are not the only ways the unscrupulous try to part you from your money. But the more serious the threats and the more complicated the demand is, the more likely you are dealing with off shore predators, not genuine representatives of your creditor.
SETTLEMENT INITIATION LETTER
CENTURY CREDIT COUNCIL INC.
June 18th, 2015
Dear TARGET NAME:
Our company name is CENTURY CREDIT COUNCIL INC which stands for the association of original creditor and Settlement Companies. CENTURY CREDIT COUNCIL INC is parent online Loan multi finance collection company who owes and operates about more than 375 online loan websites all over the USA.
This is regarding online loan which was borrowed by you. We are recommended to collect all type of loans remaining on your name. Unfortunately we have received a legal case file which is pending in the amount of $1290.00 on your name and on your social security number with all of your personal details clearly listed in the affidavit and your social as a primary suspect in this case file and your S.S.N (xxx-xx-xxxx)so reply me on my e-mail as soon as possible as this is the prior notification to you before your case file gets downloaded inside the court house. The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive.
We are here by to inform you that you are going to be legally prosecuted in the court house within couple of days. Your S.S.N is put on hold by United States Government, so before something goes wrong we would like to notify you about this matter.
Affiliations: – Judicial Circuit of United States of America Area of Practice: Civil Right, Banking and Finance, Debtor-Creditor Rights
Our client CENTURY CREDIT COUNCIL INC is a finance company claiming outstanding dues of an online loan provided to their Client:NAME by administrative offset of monies payable by the government.
Providing us, Financial Crime Investigations a DIVISION OF FEDERAL CRIMES BUREAU, their legal representatives is pressing charges against NAME regarding four serious and hard allegations.
UNITED LEGAL INVESTIGATION BUREAU HAS STATED 4 SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU AND THEY ARE:
(1) VIOLATION OF FEDERAL BANKING REGULATION
(2) COLLATERAL CHECK FRAUD
(3) THEFT BY DECEPTION
(4) ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER FRAUD.
You were clearly monitored, using your e-mail address EMAIL ADDRESS soliciting funds from a website, owned and operated by CENTURY CREDIT COUNCIL INC. The funds were deposited into your bank account utilizing an E.F.T. which stands for Electronic Fund Transfer? When they attempted to extract the funds back, the E.F.T. was returned constituting an electronic check.
So Now, as of today’s date, rather than chasing you for the money, they simply opted to write the money off, deeming it to be stolen and press charges against you today in your state county.
Address: – TARGET’S ADDRESS
Bank Name: – WELLS FARGO BANK NA
The client have never paid that money back to the company & today the outstanding dues are $1290.00, if you are ready to resolve this matter outside the court house then contact us at your earliest convenience but if once your case gets download in the court then it will add late payment fees, documentation fees, penalty fees, judge fees, attorney charges and court house fees which may goes up to $3589.77.
Under Section 349 column 15 company can collect the funds before three years of the contract as per the federal government’s right to collect the debt first accrued, except as otherwise provided by law..
|Borrower’s Name:||Case File Number|
|ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE The cost of your credit as a yearly rate 469.29%||AMOUNT FINANCED Amount of credit provided to you or on your behalf.$300.00||FINANCE CHARGES Amount of late fees, penalty fees and interest charges.$990.00||TOTAL OF PAYMENTS The amount you have to pay including all charges and payments.$1290.00|
For you this means three things:
- If you’re on any state supervised probation on parole, you need to contact the officers and make them aware.
- If you have any prior convictions including but not limited to worthless checks, grand theft or money laundering please be aware, they will treat your case as that of a habitual offender, as your state is a zero tolerance state.
- Lastly you can take this matter inside the court house with the legal procedures and hiring attorney.
You also have a right to resolve this matter outside the court, but if you fail this time then you will be the person responsible for further legal procedures on your name and who would be facing legal and embracing situations.
Now there are two options in front of you that to take care of this matter outside the court by paying one time settlement amount, or you want to go inside the court house of your state with the legal procedures on your name and hampering your social and your credit ratings and you will end up paying $3589.77 either by selling any of your personal assets or property.
If you wish to settle the matter outside the court house without entering in any kind of legal proceedings on your name and on your social security number (XXX-XX-XXXX) then just you would need to make a payment of $1290.00, to close your case file.
I advise you to resolve this matter as soon as possible by paying settlement amount because your file is inside the court house our records clearly indicate that this amount due for services rendered and that we are entitled to commence collection procedures should it be necessary. Will additionally assess you legal fees and costs of such legal proceedings.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please Email the undersigned immediately.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
(Financial Crime and investigation department)
COURT-ORDERED DEBT COLLECTIONS
Cc: Debtor’s Higher Level
CC: Collection Agency/Legal Counsel
The information contained in this communication is privileged, confidential and is proprietary. This email is solely intended for the use of the addressee. Information in this mail is for FCI (Financial Crime and Investigation Department) Usage only. Any use to other than the addressee is misuse and infringement to Proprietorship of FCI (Financial Crime and Investigation Department). If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email or any action or omission taken by you in reliance on it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately.