TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A scam that has targeted thousands of people all over the country has taken at innocent people in Toledo.
"If I didn't make a payment immediately - they were going to put a warrant out for my arrest," said Danielle Tugade.
That's what Tugade heard on the phone when she received several calls at work and at home saying she owed money on her payday loan she took out back in 2007. They said she needed to pay ASAP. The caller had information about her loan and her identity.
"The fact he knew my social security number. To me I thought: this is legit. Because that's not something you give out to everyone. And that's kind of scary - for someone to have your information like that," said Tugade.
"He said I could pay one of two ways - with a credit card over the phone – or I could go to Western Union and he'd give me information on how to do that," said Purcel.
Tugade's attorney, Jerry Purcel, specializes in bankruptcy law. He says people who sign up for payday loans often are already in tough financial situations so they scare easily.
"I had one guy who was on his way to Walmart to get his pre-paid card to pay off $3,000," said Purcel.
Purcel says this scam violates both federal and state laws.
"You've got two federal laws: You've got impersonating a police officer by threatening to arrest someone and violation of the bankruptcy code if someone declared bankruptcy," said Purcel.
WTOL called the scammers, but they said we had the wrong number. The payday loan company is aware of this situation and have a scam alert on their website. They told us they are not sure how the scammers obtained all of the personal information.
This is just another example of why it's so important for consumers to keep their guards up.
And if you have a problem, call us or go to our website and click here to visit the for Call 11 for Action page. We're on pace to recover almost $1 million dollars this year.
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