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.
Data Privacy Series: Smartphones, Apps, and Tracking posted on Sep 29
Picture this: You are out in public—anywhere—and half the people around you are looking down… at their smartphones. What are they doing? They are texting, reading an article, playing a game, or they are using one of the many, many apps offered for smartphones. Smartphones …Continue Reading Data Privacy Series: Smartphones, Apps, and Tracking
Scam Alert: One Ring posted on Sep 23
SCAM ALERT “One-Ring” Scam Scammers are calling from an international number that appears to originate in the U.S., causing consumers to unwittingly return the call to an international number and rack up some hefty international call fees. This is commonly called a “one-ring” scam, but …Continue Reading Scam Alert: One Ring
How to Use Contractor Websites to Shop Around for Home Improvement Contractor Work posted on Sep 21
Do you need roofing work, from normal wear and tear, ice damage or another reason due to the winter storms? Many homeowners must make repairs to their homes from the tough winter, and yet may not have found a contractor to make those repairs. If …Continue Reading How to Use Contractor Websites to Shop Around for Home Improvement Contractor Work