Updated: December 6, 2016
Originally posted: January 07, 2016
DFI received complaints of what appears to be a collection scam. Several consumers reported receiving emails and phone calls that demand payment for alleged debts.
Recently, one consumer reported that an individual claiming to represent “CFS” attempted to collect a debt allegedly owed to “EP Processing, LLC”. The representative contacted the consumer from various phone numbers and threatened legal action if the debt was not paid. The consumer stated that CFS* refused to provide proof of the debt. The consumer also reported that she had never obtained a loan from EP Processing, LLC.
Be advised, "CFS" should not be confused with the following companies registered to conduct business in the State of Washington through the Secretary of State and Department of Revenue, Business License Services Division.
- CFS Holding, LLC d/b/a Creative Financial Staff
- CFS Holdings Inc.
- CFS Services Inc.
Another Washington State consumer received phone calls from a company representing itself to be MCO Arbitration and EP Processing, LLC, attempting to collect on a debt. The consumer requested proof of the debt but the representative refused. The representative also allegedly threatened civil litigation against the consumer and the consumer’s family.
In addition, two Washington State consumers received phone calls that claimed that the consumers failed to repay a loan from GDS Solutions Collections. The phone calls occurred at odd hours of the day and threatened legal action if the debt was not paid by a certain date. The consumer requested documentation to substantiate the debt, but the caller refused to provide such documentation.
One Washington consumer reported receiving calls from an individual claiming that EP Processing, LLC was his client. The individual proceeded to inform the consumer that a subpoena would be issued for an alleged unpaid loan. The individual had the consumer’s social security number, email address, last four digits of the consumer’s bank account number, and the consumer’s previous address.
The following telephone numbers and email address were recently operational and appear to be associated with this apparent scam:
EP Processing, LLC, GDS Solutions Collections, MCO Arbitration, and CFS are not licensed by DFI. These companies are also not registered with the Washington Secretary of State, do not have a license to do business in Washington State, and are not licensed collection agencies with the Washington State Department of Licensing.
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers that before doing business with a financial institution, company, or individual, they should make sure that the entity is properly licensed. Consumers are urged to verify license status prior to giving the financial institution, company, or individual any nonpublic personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access. Verify a license at www.dfi.wa.gov
Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities by third party collectors are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If contacted by such a collector, a consumer should request a written validation notice, which must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and rights that consumers have under the FDCPA. A consumer should not make a payment to a collector that is unwilling to provide a written validation notice. If you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.
Report Suspicious Activity, Scams, or Fraud
Washington State residents only: If you suspect illegal or fraudulent activity involving a financial product or service, please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. You may also wish to contact the Office of the Attorney general at www.atg.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you live in another state, go to this webpage to find the regulator in your home state. http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx