Ohio AG warns of potential debt collection scams

Published 12:36 am Sunday, January 19, 2014

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general says residents should watch out for potential debt collection scams.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office received more than 2,400 collections complaints in 2013 and hundreds related to phony claims that consumers had owed money.

The office said that those who fall for such scams often report losing $200 to $300, though some lose thousands.

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DeWine says the scams typically begin with a phone call from someone who says the consumer is in default on a loan. The callers will request immediate payment and refuse to provide documentation of debt.

However, DeWine is reminding Ohioans that third-party debt collectors must send a letter within five days after first contacting the consumer by phone.

And the collectors cannot contact consumers without identifying themselves.