Consumers who receive calls or e-mails from debt collectors should verify the existence of the debt. Consumers are urged to verify this before making payment arrangements or disclosing nonpublic personal information to anybody attempting to collect a debt.
DFI received a complaint about what appears to be a collection scam. A Washington State consumer reported that she received an e-mail claiming that she owed money to “USA Fast Cash” or “Payday Services.” The e-mail threatened the consumer with arrest if she did not pay the debt. The e-mail also threatened to disclose the debt to the consumer’s employer. However, the consumer states that she does not owe the debt.
The sender of the threatening e-mail claimed to represent “USA.Fast Cash Legal Group of Attorneys.” The following contact is associated with this threatening e-mail:
USA Fast Cash and Payday Services are not licensed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. They are not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Washington residents are advised that state law provides in RCW 31.45.105(1)(d) and (3) that a small loan made by an unlicensed entity to a person physically located in Washington is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State.
DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the “Verify a License” feature on the DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Therefore, if you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC HELP, or online at www.ftc.gov.
Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers' places of employment.
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, find your state regulator.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan 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 or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. Because the scammers have access to bank account information and social security numbers, victims should consider themselves victims of identity theft and take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.