ABC News, in its Thursday evening telecast, highlighted a recent case involving a debt collection agency scam operating out of India that contacted hundreds of thousands of Americans.
In April, the FTC announced that it had halted an operation that collected phantom payday loan debts that consumers either didn’t owe to the defendants or didn’t owe at all. The defendants’ scheme involved more than 2.7 million calls to at least 600,000 different phone numbers nationwide, according to the FTC. In less than two years, they fraudulently collected more than $5.2 million from consumers.
The ABC piece Thursday chronicled the saga through the voices of consumers that had been contacted by the collectors. It even went so far as to travel to India to attempt to track down the call center being used to make the calls.
The FTC maintains that all of the leads in the case find their way back to a California-based company run by Kirit Patel, the man named in the April action. ABC news tracked Patel for weeks for the story.
Patel refused to talk for the story. But his lawyer, Mark Ellis, told ABC news that he believes it is far too early to pass judgment on his client. Patel, he said, was hired to set up an American shell company, and had no idea what the call centers in India were doing.
Watch the piece below: