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.
Unemployment Benefit Email Scam posted on Sep 19
If you are receiving unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, beware of emails from an out-of-state firm calling itself Unemployment Assist. The emails, with a subject line that reads: “ID Eligibility Requirement 1: Must be Available for Work” or “Verification Required: 2nd Request” request personally identifiable information, …Continue Reading Unemployment Benefit Email Scam
Avoiding Scams during an Election Year posted on Sep 16
The November elections are fast approaching and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is warning consumers about the risks of Election Season scams. Scams can include scammers posing as representatives of a political campaign soliciting donations; scammers posing as election officials looking …Continue Reading Avoiding Scams during an Election Year
The Skinny on Dietary Supplements posted on Sep 14
We’ve all seen the ads for weight-loss pills and other dietary supplements online, in our favorite magazines, and in television commercials. But what do consumers really know about this market? After a recent investigation by Consumer Reports into the supplement market, we put together some tips consumers should keep in mind.