Common Fraud Complaints

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The FTC issued its report on common complaints.

Sometimes victims may be able to obtain recovery from the perpetrator or others.  We provide a free consultation on fraud claims.








1 Imposter Scams 347,829 19% $328M $500
2 Telephone and Mobile Services 149,578 4% $17M $223
3 Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries 142,870 9% $95M $511
4 Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales 126,387 58% $94M $261
5 Internet Services 45,093 14% $19M $183
6 Foreign Money Offers & Counterfeit Check Scams 31,980 33% $34M $1,008
7 Travel, Vacations, and Timeshare Plans 22,264 18% $38M $1,710
8 Business and Job Opportunities 18,702 34% $47M $1,063
9 Advance Payments for Credit Services 17,762 74% $15M $318
10 Health Care 10,321 8% $1M $175


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Couple receiving bad news over phone


Claims can be filed to address improper collection practices.  The Consumer Financial Standards Board recently filed a claim involving debt collection practices for major creditors.

This action is part of the Bureau’s work to address illegal debt collection practices across the consumer financial marketplace, including companies who sell, buy, and collect debt. For instance, in separate enforcement actions, the CFPB has ordered three of the firm’s clients, JPMorgan Chase, Portfolio Recovery Associates, and Encore Capital Group, to overhaul their debt collection practices and to refund millions to harmed consumers. The Bureau will continue working to ensure all players in the collections market treat consumers fairly.

A  consent order can be found at:

The proposed consent order filed today follows an earlier court order issued in July 2015 that rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. Among other things, that court ruling held that attorneys have an obligation to meaningfully review the facts of a lawsuit before filing it and that the CFPB has the authority to take action against attorneys engaged in unlawful consumer debt-collection practices.


Abusive Collection Practices and Doctor or Hospital Bills

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“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report that found medical debt has a significant impact on consumer credit, as 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. The medical debt study can be found at:

Medical debt is incurred differently than other unpaid bills, such as unpaid phone or utility bills. Medical debt can result from an event that is unpredictable and costly, such as an accident or sudden illness. In addition, consumers are often temporarily responsible for the whole bill until insurance works it out. Consumers can also become responsible for medical debt because of billing issues between medical providers and insurers. Complaints to the CFPB indicate that many consumers do not even know they owe medical debt until they get a call from the collections agency or they discover it on their credit report.

If a medical bill goes unpaid after a certain amount of time, the medical provider may hand over the account to a third-party debt collector. The majority of collections items that end up on consumers’ credit reports are furnished to the credit reporting agencies by third-party debt collectors. When a collection item ends up on a consumer’s credit report, it decreases the consumer’s credit score. These scores play an important role in the lives of American consumers because most lenders decide to grant credit and set interest rates based on them. A collection item generally can stay on a report for up to seven years.

Today’s CFPB study draws on sources such as information from credit reporting companies, consumer complaints to the Bureau, and interviews with debt collection agencies, healthcare providers, and observers of healthcare billing and payment processes. Among the findings:

Half of all overdue debt on credit reports is from medical debt: A staggering 52 percent of all debt on credit reports is from medical expenses. When a debt is past due, a collector may report the consumer’s account to a credit reporting agency. On the consumer’s report, this item would appear as an account in collections, resulting in a credit score drop.
One out of five credit reports contains overdue medical debt: Today’s study found that one out of five credit reports contain medical debt in collections. This means that 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt adversely affecting their credit report.
15 million consumers have only medical debt on their credit reports: Seven percent of all consumers have medical debt and no other collection items on their reports. These 15 million consumers tend to be more reliable bill payers than consumers with other types of collections on their credit reports. They are much more likely to be consumers who normally meet their debt obligations.

Free Consultation on on your Medical or Hospital Bill Claim.   Call (973) 598-1980

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Debt Collection Violations, False threats to Come to Home or Office

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been investigating false or misleading threats to consumers.

Examiners observed one or more entities in the course of collecting delinquent or defaulted loans making statements to borrowers that they must immediately contact the lenders to avoid additional collection activity, including being visited at home or work. In fact, the entity(ies) did not actually conduct such in-person collection visits. Supervision concluded these representations constituted deceptive acts or practices. Delinquent consumers could reasonably interpret the entity’s statements to mean that in-person visits to the consumers’ place of employment or home would take place if the consumers did not immediately contact the entities). The representations were material to consumers because they could cause consumers to change their behavior to avoid the promised visits. One or more entities agreed to modify their collection practices to comply with Federal consumer financial laws.

Couple receiving bad news over phone
Couple receiving threat  over the phone at home

Debt Collection Violations, Calling at Odd Hours or Inconvenient Times

Couple receiving bad news over phone
Couple receiving late hour call in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Consumers receiving calls at inappropriate times may be entitled to compensation.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been investigating abuses.

Communicating with consumers at a time known to be inconvenient
Under section 805(a)(1) of the FDCPA, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. Examiners discovered  that consumers were contacted by one or more entities outside of the hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (which, in the absence of knowledge to the contrary, may be assumed to be convenient) or at times consumers had previously informed the entities were inconvenient. These violations were caused by the failure to accurately update account notes and the use of auto dialers that based call parameters solely on the consumer’s area code, rather than also considering the consumer’s last known address. Supervision directed one or more entities to enhance compliance monitoring for dialer systems to ensure that they input system parameters accurately and to ensure that they properly monitor collectors for inputting and adhering to account notations.

Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

Deceptively implying that authorized users are responsible for a debt  Under section 807(10) of the FDCPA, a debt collector may not use false representations or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Examiners determined that one or more entities violated the FDCPA by attempting to collect a debt directly from the authorized user of a credit card even though the authorized user was not financially responsible for the debt. The practice of soliciting payment from a non-obligated user in a manner that implies that the authorized user is personally responsible for the debt constitutes a deceptive means to collect a debt in violation of the FDCPA. One or more entities have undertaken remedial and corrective actions regarding these violations, which are under review by Supervision.

Call (973) 598-1980 for a free consultation on your debt collection or harassment claim.

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Online Marketing Schemes and Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission has charged an online marketing operation with deceptively luring people into an expensive negative option scam using an initial low-cost ($1.03, plus shipping and handling) “trial” offer for tooth whiteners and other products.

A federal court temporarily halted the operation and froze its assets at the request of the FTC, which seeks to end the practices.

According to the FTC, the defendants used a network of 78 companies, at least 87 websites, and dozens of bank accounts to hide their ownership and launder the profits from the scheme. They also drove people to their websites via affiliate networks that generate web traffic with blog posts, banner ads and surveys. For example, some consumers got emails inviting them to fill out surveys falsely claiming to be for well-known merchants such as Kohl’s and Amazon, and were directed to the defendants’ websites to claim a “reward” for completing the survey.

The FTC alleges that, using deceptive claims, hidden fine-print disclosures and confusing terms, the defendants tricked consumers into providing their billing information, and then started charging them about $100 a month unless consumers canceled within 8 days. They also used an order confirmation page to trick consumers into signing up for a second monthly subscription, which cost an additional $100, for an identical product. Because of this double-deception, the defendants charged consumers, who reasonably believed they had agreed to a single shipment for $1.03 plus shipping costs, about $200 a month until they canceled both unauthorized subscriptions.

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