Tunnel Rat posted on February 24, 2012 10:01

Yeah, what else is new....

Authorities: Debt-Collector Scam Bilked Millions

By MICHAEL TARM Associated Press

A phone scam in which callers in India posed as debt collectors bilked millions of dollars out of more than 10,000 U.S. residents by using threats of arrest or the loss of their jobs, U.S. authorities said Tuesday in what they described as a first-of-its-kind investigation.

Callers drew on personal data snatched from payday loan websites, Federal Trade Commission official Steven Baker said. More than 20 million calls may have been placed over the past two years, with collectors demanding between $300 and $2,000 per call.

Such a far-reaching fraud with so many millions of calls flooding in from India is something investigators haven't seen before and was fostered in part by the plummeting costs of international calls, Baker, the FTC's Midwest director, said.

While federal authorities seem to have put a halt to this one scam by freezing the assets of a California-based business allegedly involved, Baker said other similar scams are almost certainly up and running.

"We think this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Authorities have received more than 4,000 complaints about debt-collection schemes in recent years, said Baker. They describe aggressive, foul-mouthed callers, some of whom claimed to be agents of a nonexistent Federal Department of Crime and Prevention.

JanLaree Dejulius, of Las Vegas, was at work at a university office when she got a call from a man who gave his name as Officer Black. He knew one of her relatives had taken out a payday loan online. If Dejulius didn't pay up, he said he would send someone to her work to arrest her, she said.

"I said, 'Yeah, I'll pay you — whatever it takes (not to get arrested),'" the 57-year-old said at a news conference in Chicago. "I consider myself savvy, but I fell for it." She eventually agreed to pay $763.

Some callers threatened to call victims' bosses or sue them. The scare tactics were so effective that in some instances people agreed to pay hundreds of dollars even though they knew that neither they nor any acquaintances had payday debts, said Baker.

From 2010 to 2012, $5 million was paid in 17,000 transactions to accounts controlled by the alleged fraudsters. The targets included people who applied for loans by punching personal details into a payday site but whose applications were rejected, Baker said.

Payday loans are typically small, very short-term loans with extremely high interest rates that are effectively advances on a borrower's next paycheck. It is often people cash-strapped or living from paycheck to paycheck who use the service, Baker said.

Baker said to guard against scam artists, consumers should demand a written notice with debt amounts and the names of creditors. Debt collectors never have authority to arrest anyone, Baker added.

Asked what advice she'd give to would-be victims if they get a call, Dejulius said they shouldn't give in.

"Call them on it," she said. "Call their bluff if you know you haven't taken out a loan."

Baker said many questions remain unanswered, including how callers obtained such a vast amount of payday-loan information. He said the U.S. government needs help from authorities in India, where it is thought that all of the bogus calls came from.

The FTC charged Villa Park, Calif.-based American Credit Crunchers LLC, Ebeeze, LLC and their owner, Varang K. Thaker, with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. No criminal charges have been filed.

Thaker allegedly withdrew thousands of dollars paid by victims that ended up in his company accounts, though Baker said it wasn't clear if the overall scheme was directed primarily from California or India.

A U.S. district judge in Chicago has issued an order freezing Thaker's assets.

American Credit Crunchers or Ebeeze in Villa Park, Calif., did not have a current phone listing. There also was no listing for a Varang K. Thaker in the area. Federal court filings did not list an attorney for Thaker. The Online Lenders Alliance, an industry group for companies that offer loans over the Internet, said it reported complaints about the fraudulent calls to the FTC two years ago and has worked with authorities to stop the scam.


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Comments (14) -


Canada ezygoer
February 24. 2012 13:28
ezygoer

Where Indians running this racket (as the guy who is arrested seems so) as difficult to believe Americans would pay up to foul mouthed "Indian" bill collectors - I would certainly not. Looks like Americans using tech. to route calls from centers in India most likely could be the real culprits here. But definitely one of the after effects of setting up call centers in India !!


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United States James
February 25. 2012 00:40
James

"More than 20 million calls may have been placed over the past two years, with collectors demanding between $300 and $2,000 per call."

Translation: "We Indians are poor because Britain robbed us 200 years ago and now we want our $ back. You Americans are all filthy rich so hand over OUR $. Never mind that the real reason we are poor is because we are so obsessed with sex that we haven't had time to invent anything in 5000 years".

"Such a far-reaching fraud with so many millions of calls flooding in from India is something investigators haven't seen before and was fostered in part by the plummeting costs of international calls, Baker, the FTC's Midwest director, said."

It was also fostered by the fact that in Indian schools they teach their kids that they are all poor because evil whitey came and robbed them. Never mind that they wasted 50 years on communsim.

"While federal authorities seem to have put a halt to this one scam by freezing the assets of a California-based business allegedly involved, Baker said other similar scams are almost certainly up and running."

Hmmmm.... California. Isn't tha where Vivek Wadhwa lives? Most of CA has been taken over by Indian conmen and Mexicans. No wonder the state is going broke. So much for the "genius skilled immigrants" we are letting in. In fact, nearly ALL the foreigners we are letting in are conmen from the lazy 3rd world. You know, grifters like ANIL BHAVNANI.

"We think this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Of course it is. There are 3.2 MILLION of these grifters from India in the US now. Expect widespread fraud.

"Authorities have received more than 4,000 complaints about debt-collection schemes in recent years, said Baker. They describe aggressive, foul-mouthed callers, some of whom claimed to be agents of a nonexistent Federal Department of Crime and Prevention."

Yes, those Indians are foul-mouthed, and foul-minded. I hope the Feds learn their lesson with India on this one. USA never had to deal with this kind of crap before and we WERE a super-productive country until we started TRADING with this nation of 1.2 billion criminals.

...

"Baker said many questions remain unanswered, including how callers obtained such a vast amount of payday-loan information. He said the U.S. government needs help from authorities in India, where it is thought that all of the bogus calls came from."

HAHAHA! Yeah good luck with that! They won't even honor the Iran sanctions. As for this idiot Baker, is he really that dumb? How they obtained such vast amounts of information IS BECAUSE WE HAVE LET THEM INTO OUR COUNTRY TO WORK IN COMPANIES THAT CREATE OR RUN THE WEBSITES FOR OUR COMPANIES. DUH! Most likely an H-1B conman from India ran a bodyshop that staffed all these IT departments that did the sites for these payday loan companies.

"The FTC charged Villa Park, Calif.-based American Credit Crunchers LLC, Ebeeze, LLC and their owner, Varang K. Thaker, with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. No criminal charges have been filed."

There's CA again. No wonder so much crime is coming from there - that's where all the Indian grifters settle once they come here. That and in NJ.

"Thaker allegedly withdrew thousands of dollars paid by victims that ended up in his company accounts, though Baker said it wasn't clear if the overall scheme was directed primarily from California or India."

And this guy hasn't been deported why? Criminal charges have not been filed? Why the hell not? This is FRAUD.

"A U.S. district judge in Chicago has issued an order freezing Thaker's assets."

Good! ALL his assets should be seized, he should have a parachute strapped on his back, flown back over Mumbai, and given a big huge kick in the ass out the plane door. That is the only way to deal with these cockroaches.

"American Credit Crunchers or Ebeeze in Villa Park, Calif., did not have a current phone listing. There also was no listing for a Varang K. Thaker in the area. Federal court filings did not list an attorney for Thaker. The Online Lenders Alliance, an industry group for companies that offer loans over the Internet, said it reported complaints about the fraudulent calls to the FTC two years ago and has worked with authorities to stop the scam."

Of course the conman isn't going to reveal his phone # or address. That is part of how Indian Griftologists work! They come to the US, which they see as a big cookie jar, mainly to plunder and scam us. That is all they have known at home, so that it all they know when they come here. However, they ARE masters of it!

Just like with IT. After Americans made IT boom in the late 1990s millions of master Indian conmen set their sights on it. So they came here by the millions, setup shop as "IT experts" using $300 bought PhDs from Punjab, and then proceeded to clean our economy out.

Now you know the real reason our economy is a wreck.


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United States TaxiDriver
February 25. 2012 07:39
TaxiDriver

Probably what isn't being told that this "data" "snatched" from payday loan websites was most likely GIVEN to them by the administrators of the sites, also located in India. It's pretty tough to prosecute foreign nationals in a foreign country, especially a country where money counts more than law. I would be willing to bet that these "payday loan websites" were administered in India, and used information that the payday loan sharks paid the Indians to administer. That's what I get from reading between the lines. There was no mention of hacking the sites, just that they "got" the info from them. Surely it wasn't published information. What does that leave? They got it through the back door, where both back doors were located abroad.

I have been saying this for a long time, one of the hidden costs of cheap foreign labor is a loss of data security. Do all these companies that ship their accounting overseas really believe that the trade secrets that inherently go with that will stay secret? What about all the law firms that ship confidential legal work overseas, do they really believe that there is no increased risk of a breach of that confidentiality? Hell, the DoD keeps trying to get SECURITY CLEARNCES for H-1b holders because it will save them money. WTF?


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United States unemployed in Detroit
February 27. 2012 06:19
unemployed in Detroit


The Indian Mafia never stops:

www.howtostopdebtcollectors.com/.../

"Neil Vincent the same exact thing happened to me today. Hindu Indians, male and female. Told me I’m going to jail and will have to pay $8000.00 because they have 3 charges on me, internet fraud, stealing, default on a PDL. They wanted me to send them my credit card number and a copy of my drivers license. So, I called every lender I’ve ever done business with and did not owe anything. And they knew about this scam. It’s so crazy 510 area code phone number, fax is 206 area code. Ron Willis and Sabrina Cruz."



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United States James
February 27. 2012 12:49
James

India is destroying the whole world.


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United States unemployed in Detroit
February 28. 2012 11:03
unemployed in Detroit

Now the British Government has lost $18 billion to scammers from India:

www.informationweek.com/.../231700313

British Electronic Health Record Collapse Sparks Lawsuit

Investors sue U.S. contractor CSC, claiming it concealed its inability to complete failed $18 billion U.K. National EHR Program.

"On Monday, a group of shareholders filed a class-action suit in the United States against Falls Church, Va.-based contractor Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), claiming that CSC "fraudulently concealed that it was incapable of delivering" on a 10-year, 3.1 billion British pound ($5.4 billion) contract with the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS). "

 

This was a company that had an office in the Detroit area which did a layoff of Americans in favor of H-1B's:

www.sramanamitra.com/.../

"I recently interviewed Vivek Chopra, one of the early employees of Wipro, former head of IBM’s Daksh services business in India, and now president of CSC’s India operations. Vivek has a long and deep history in the IT industry in India and in the global outsourcing and off-shoring arena. His insights into how this market has evolved and is still evolving are fascinating."


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Canada ezygoer
February 29. 2012 13:28
ezygoer

From the CSC guy's interview one thing that I always suspected got confirmed - that Jack Welch is among some of the original villans who sold out American workers and GE's board gave him a billion dollar retirement package which probably is still the biggest in Corp. America's history. Watching this clown on CNBC nowadays, seems to have changed his lines a little to mention "taking care" of Americans who have been left out and marginalized (maybe mostly lip service and p.c. in today's 25% real unemployment environment). Every last dollar that this clown has and from others like his ilk should be seized and used to pay down the deficit and space reserved for them in the underground storm drains where the affected homeless live in Vegas as shown in a recent BBC doc. called "Poor in America" !!

Maybe then justice will be served.
    


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United States Wakjob
February 29. 2012 13:59
Wakjob

CSC is filled to the gills with slumdogs. No wonder the project failed - looks like Brits got conned. When will people wake up to the scamming nature of these indiots?


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United States Doc Savage
March 2. 2012 03:47
Doc Savage

I say we just shutdown all IP and telephony traffic to and from India. Then charge them more to come to this country so they don't want to


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United States hahahaha
March 2. 2012 04:59
hahahaha

hahaha.... nice to see y'all loosers come here to roost. Too bad suckers, any third worlder can kick you loosers out of your jobs. Suck it up suckaaaaaaaaa. lol


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United States James
March 3. 2012 02:19
James

@hahahaha

"hahaha.... nice to see y'all loosers come here to roost. Too bad suckers, any third worlder can kick you loosers out of your jobs. Suck it up suckaaaaaaaaa. lol"

And it's pretty funny to watch you desperate job beggars going to other peoples' countries and taking over what they built just because you're too stoopid to create any jobs in your own country.

The world is laughing at Indian job beggars as they roam the world looking to stay employed.


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United States James
March 4. 2012 02:17
James

@hahahaha

India's GDP growth slows to 6.1% in Dec quarter, weakest in almost 3 years

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/.../12080604.cms

Amazing what happens to the Indian economy once the US cuts off India's griftology racket in the US. 100% of India's "growth" was from SIPHONING the US economy. Once we cut off their tap, their economy plummets like a rock.

Indians live like parasites off other countries. When those countries cut them off, their economy dies.

So much for the theory that India will be the next superpower. Without America throwing it a bone, India can't even sustain its own economy.


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United States joshua
March 4. 2012 03:17
joshua

anyone know if Mr Wedel ever found a job yet?
just wondering

-joshua


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Canada ezygoer
March 5. 2012 13:15
ezygoer

Mr. Wedel will not find a job as a semi-c engineer as they're long gone to Taiwan and other periperral jobs in IT like testing, PM etc are taken up by Indian housewives.

So the labor arbitrage games go on in the name of globalization, free trade etc.  


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