Fraudsters Pose as Attorneys in Debt Collection Scheme
The Federal Trade Commission has uncovered a debt collection scheme where telephone operators posed as attorneys to collect false debts. The FTC has charged the parties involved (S&H Financial Group Inc., Hardco Holding Group LLC, Daryl M. Hall and Dequan M. Sicard) for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act.
The plaintiffs in the case say they were contacted by people who said they had a pending lawsuit or criminal action against them for a debt. The callers gave respondents a case number and phone number to call to resolve the matter. Those that called said the people on the other end claimed to be members of the law firm handling their case.
The debt collectors made some extreme claims in order to convince people to pay their phantom debts, including the possibility of arrest and jail time. Moreover, the collectors often pretended to represent legitimate businesses that were not associated with the scheme, thereby hurting those businesses’ reputation.
There is no official decision about the case yet, but that will be decided in court. For now, the plaintiffs have been granted a temporary restraining order against the defendants, dated for July 10, 2017.