Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
My office received a phone call yesterday from a consumer who said she got a call from the California Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, demanding payment for a payday loan the consumer allegedly didn’t take care of.
The consumer said she never took out a payday loan and that the caller threatened to send authorities to her house and drag her to California. And, more importantly, she asked if we would come after a consumer for an unpaid debt.
Let me be clear: Our Office would never, ever contact you on behalf of a debt collector. And we would also never threaten to come and take you away for an unpaid debt. (For more on debt collector and practices, click here.)
This looks like a relatively new scam. A search of the phone number (818-746-3844) found two online notes regarding the phone number from the last week. “I received a call from this number claiming to be a prosecuting attorney. Does anyone know if this is legit? Sounds like a scam,” was one comment. The other was more to the point: “Using this number to scare people into sending money.”
In this case, another state’s office was the alleged debt collector. But in many cases of bogus debt-collector schemes, the names change but the ruse remains the same.
We want to make sure consumers are aware of this scam, and they do not fall prey to it. If you get an unsolicited phone call from us demanding a debt payment, take down as much information as you can about the caller (including the phone number and any other contact information) and contact us. Our Consumer Hotline number is (888) 283-3757. We can ensure that we’re not hounding you for a real or imagined debt, and we can help you file a complaint against the perpetrator.
Designating a Health Care Proxy posted on Apr 16
April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day; and a good time to recognize how important it is that you are able to make educated health care decisions. In the case that you are unable to do so, it is crucial to have designated a …Continue Reading Designating a Health Care Proxy
Understanding Medical Bills posted on Apr 10
Whether it’s for a routine physical or an emergency ER visit, everyone receives medical bills. While extremely common, these bills are often unclear and difficult to decipher. Oftentimes, medical bills use codes and shorthand to describe the services you received, making it difficult to tell …Continue Reading Understanding Medical Bills
Top 5 Consumer Issues of 2014: Lemon Law and Auto Issues posted on Mar 24
#5 – Lemon Law and Auto Issues Last week, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation held its annual Top 5 Press Conference at the Massachusetts State House, highlighting the top consumer issues from 2014. The top four issues were insurance, banking and non-depository …Continue Reading Top 5 Consumer Issues of 2014: Lemon Law and Auto Issues