Scam Harasses Victims Into Repaying Fake Loans

by Better Business Bureau

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More people than ever are being harassed by collection calls at home and work about payday loans they either never received or already repaid. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently released a new alert about the disturbing rise in these scams.

How the Scam Works:

You answer the phone. The person the other end claims you are delinquent on a payday loan and must pay up to avoid legal consequences. You think the caller must be mistaken. You’ve either never taken out a loan or you’ve already repaid it. You hang up and probably think that’s the end of the trouble.

But the phone calls don’t stop. You start receiving more calls at work and home. Callers make threats and/or claim to be representatives of government agencies and law firms. The scammers also have your personal information, such as your Social Security/Social Insurance number, date of birth and address. They may even contact your friends, relatives and employer.

In a new twist on the scam, you may also begin receiving emails. These messages are official-looking and purport to be from a federal agency. They accuse you of violating banking regulations and reference law enforcement agencies like the FBI. To fight the charges, the emails say, you need to contact the sender within 48 hours.

I’m a Victim of This Scam. What Should I Do?

  • Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and request an alert be put on your file
  • If you have received a legitimate loan, verify that you do not have any outstanding payments by contacting the loan company directly
  • File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • If you feel you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement

For More Information

Check out the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s Public Service Announcement for more information about the scam.


The BBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers in the U.S. and Canada, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to a trustworthy marketplace for all.