Protect Yourself from Debt Collection Scams


Attempted Prepaid Card Scam Reported in Seattle, Washington!

Moneytree has learned of an apparent scam artist using a similar address and contact information as a Moneytree branch in Seattle, Washington.  The scam artist requires loan applicants to purchase a prepaid card, load funds onto the card, and then provide the card’s authorization code.  Moneytree is not associated or in any way connected with this scam.  Moneytree does not require a loan applicant to purchase a prepaid card, provide an authorization code, or prepay a fee before obtaining a loan.
 
If you believe you are the victim of this apparent scam we suggest you contact your local law enforcement agency, State Attorney General’s Office, or the Federal Trade Commission.

Attempted Fraudulent Collection Scam Reported in Yakima, Washington!

Some Yakima Moneytree customers have received calls to their work or home from an anonymous financial/legal department in regards to a payday loan. Unfortunately, the callers were somehow able to obtain and confirm Social Security numbers and bank names but are calling in search of routing numbers from your account. The callers claim if you provide this information they will lower the amount of your open loan and close your account. The caller also threatens to take legal action if you do not provide this information.

Regrettably, these types of collection scams seem to be happening more and more. We’re especially concerned about this particular scheme as they are incenting the customer to give information to them by telling them that their loan amount will be reduced once they do.

If you receive this type of call, we can assure you it is a scam. Moneytree does not release customer’s personal information and would not make these types of calls. We advise you to contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.



How to Report a Scam

In 2009, the Better Business Bureau warned about a telephone scheme targeting people nationwide. Phony bill collectors call accusing people of not repaying loans. Victims are told they'll be arrested if they don't immediately wire a $1,000 payment or provide bank account or credit card numbers.  In 2011, the Washington Department of Financial Institutions issued multiple consumer alerts about possible payday loan collection scams.

Identifying A Fraudulent Collector Call Moneytree helps protect against Collection Scams

Regardless of the information the caller has, you should be suspicious if you receive a collection call that includes one or more of the common tactics used in these fake debt collection scam calls:  
  • Fake callers make harassing telephone contacts with the consumer, sometimes threatening lawsuits or arrests if payment is not made immediately.
  • Fake callers may threaten violence, intimidation, or use foul language.
  • Fake callers may threaten arrest or other criminal action, suspension of your drivers license or reference check fraud.
  • Fake callers may threaten to garnish your wages.
  • Fake callers may identify themselves as law enforcement officers (sometimes referencing badge numbers), attorneys, or representatives from the “Legal Department.”  
  • Fake callers may claim to be from a government agency, including a prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office.
  • Fake callers refuse to provide you with a copy of your loan agreement, loan history or payment history at your request.
  • Fake callers may call before 8 am or after 9 pm.
Protecting Yourself from Fraudulent Collection Calls  
 
If you feel that you are receiving fraudulent collection calls:
  • Do not give out any personal information to inbound callers.
  • Insist on official documentation, in writing, to substantiate any debt.
  • Ask for the collector’s contact information.   Obtaining traceable information such as telephone number or mailing address is very helpful to investigators.  
  • Tell fraudulent callers that you have contacted the authorities and that you have been instructed not to pay or give out any personal information.
  • If you are a current Moneytree customer, please call us at 800.745.1011 to confirm the status of your account.
  • If you feel that your personal information is no longer secure, contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
Reporting Fraudulent Collection Calls   
  • If you believe that you have received a call from a fraudulent collector who posed as a Moneytree employee, please call us at 800.745.1011 to provide us with the details of the incident that we can share with authorities.  Any traceable information you can provide to us, such as a return telephone number or mailing address, is very helpful.  
  • Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
  • Contact your State Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. Use the FTC link https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ and reference “fake payday collection fraud.”
  • Contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/get-help-now/consumer-questions-and-complaints/.
  • For more information, please refer to the CFSA or Better Business Bureau websites The FTC has also published a list of Debt Collection Questions and Answers to help consumers found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm