TV News Reporter Confronts Scam Debt Collector

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An investigative reporter for CBS affiliate KMOV in St. Louis set up a meeting to confront a debt collector that had been sending collection letters purporting to be from law enforcement offices. The meeting went about as well as could be expected.

Consumers in the St. Louis area had been receiving letters demanding payments for debts they did not incur or for checks they did not write. Many of the debts involved were supposedly payday loans.

But one particular consumer noted that the collector showed up at her home one day demanding immediate payment. When she contacted the local TV station, an investigative reporter worked with her to set up a meeting with the scammer.

Before the confrontation, a debt collection rights expert noted that even if the business was legitimate, there were numerous FDCPA violations in the letter language alone. After further investigation, the reporter could not find any evidence of the company at all, a tell-tale sign of a scam operation.

The meeting was relatively short, as one would imagine when a scammer is confronted with a microphone and TV camera. Watch it below:

The ARM industry for years has attempted to highlight the differences between legitimate debt collection agencies and scammers operating in the space. Many issues consumers had with scam attempts were lumped in with professional debt collection efforts in the minds of the media, consumer advocates, regulators, and lawmakers.

But there has been a growing trend of organizations noting the difference between real collectors and fake ones. And with the focus of the CFPB on supervising and examining the operations of larger collection agencies, the line should grow even bolder in coming years.

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Posted in CFPB, Collection Laws and Regulations, FDCPA, Featured Post .

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  • avatar john -hilsmeyer says:

    Seems completely “Legit”.

  • avatar Commercial Guy says:

    LOL. This is pretty far over the top. If he was trying something like this in Texas, he’d be as likely to get shot as he would to get any money.

  • avatar Skip Foster says:

    As with many of your stories ….Why are you even giving this story any coverage whatsoever? This is not about the bill collection industry. This is about a scam artist criminal. He is not a debt collector. He is not a company. Never was and never will be. He is a criminal. To even state that he is a bill collector is an insult to our industry you are supposed to cover and report on.

  • avatar Patrick Lunsford says:

    @ Skip Foster: So using the word “scam” or “scammer” a whole bunch doesn’t cover it? What about the last couple of paragraphs where we actively explain the issue of legit vs. scam debt collectors?

    In short, what would you have us do?

  • avatar Skip Foster says:

    Using the word scam is very accurate however “set up a meeting to confront a debt collector” is not. The man was not a debt collector, he was and is a criminal. In short, do not give a story like this any publication whatsoever. This story is not Inside ARM. This story is way way Outside ARM!

  • avatar nick-kasoff says:

    I thought it was a great story, and was happy to see it here. What I would have like to see in your article was some critical thinking about the news story. Specifically, there were two incorrect statements regarding FDCPA violations: The FDCPA does not prohibit the use of an alias, and in fact some state registrations specifically require you to disclose them. And, the FDCPA does not prohibit the threat of legal action, but only false threats. For example, if somebody writes a bad check, there is nothing unlawful about notifying them of the potential legal consequences.

    Now clearly, this guy was a crook posing as a collector. But that doesn’t mean the reporter got it right either.

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