Fifty-six people were charged in an international scheme which resulted in over $300 million being extorted from Americans. The scammers presented themselves as IRS agents and immigration authorities. They requested individuals to pay a sum to clear non-existing debts and phony deportation warrants. The scammers acquired the personal information of these individuals from data brokers and used several call centers in India to contact them. Over 15,000 victims were threatened with jail time, deportation, and fines if they did not pay the necessary fees.
Thousands of swindled victims agreed to send the money which was allegedly laundered through conspirator groups in the U.S. using wire transfers and debit cards. It was reported that some victims were instructed to purchase iPhone cards and electronically wire the funds into U.S. bank accounts. Of the thousands of victims, one particular San Diego woman was extorted out of $12,300. The 85-year-old woman was threatened to be arrested if she did not pay the fictional tax fee in its entirety. A suspect in Frisco, TX allegedly deposited that same amount onto a debit card that same day to purchase multiple money orders.
In a similar case, a California woman sent $136,000 to alleged criminals pretending to be IRS agents. They contacted her multiple times over a three week period and ordered her to pay off phony tax charges. Once received, the funds were allegedly sent to multiple debit cards.
Twenty four of the 56 people involved in the scam are in the U.S., with the remaining 32 suspects being overseas. Twenty U.S. suspects have been detained and federal charges have been brought against five Indian call centers.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations
Along with committing conspiracy wire fraud, the individuals responsible with placing the phone calls violated a multitude of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) restrictions. This includes:
- Using aggressive language
- Using jail time as a threat to pay debts
- Misrepresenting facts including the amount owed and the entity it is owed to
- Misrepresenting themselves
All of these actions violate your privacy. On the occasion that you receive a call from a debt collector a creditor that exudes any of the aforementioned behaviors, we urge that you seek the counsel of a Florida FDCPA attorney with The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi. We will fight to protect your rights against harassment and see to it that you receive maximum compensation. Contact us today at 1-844-JIBRAEL to put an end to the harassment! Jibrael does not collect a penny until you get paid!