Metro mom threatened to pay fraudulent loan - CBS46 News

Metro mom threatened to pay fraudulent loan

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Elizabeth Benton told CBS Atlanta News she received a call from someone claiming to be a lawyer asking her to pay a payday loan.

Benton said the call got heated real fast when she started questioning the caller about who he was and who he worked for.

"I said, 'I need you to send me something in writing,'" Benton said. "He started getting angry with me because he could get to the crux of what he was asking me for."

Payday loans are small, short-term loans that are intended to cover a borrower's expenses until their next payday.

Payday loans, according to John Sours with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, are not new, but are becoming more frequent.

"Much of this activity goes unprosecuted," said Sours. "That is why these people continue this activity, that is why we go after them when we find them."

But Sours said for as many people who report the fraudulent phone call, there are others who don't and that keeps his office from following up on what can be a very complex scam.

"Our investigations have taken us from Georgia to Australia, Nigeria, the Philippines, everywhere," said Sours. "We need people to call our number and report this activity when it happens."

Benton said the caller was so convincing, she worried she was the victim of identity theft.

"I am fearing maybe someone has my identity somewhere and has really taken out a payday loan and I could go to jail for something I didn't do," Benton said.

Sours said you can't go to jail for failing to pay a loan. That is just another scare tactic. If you feel you could be the victim of identity theft in regards to a legitimate claim for a loan you did not take out, Sours said the victim should file a fraud report to a crediting agency, call your credit card company and bank, file a police report, and request a free credit report.

"Do not give your information to anyone," said Benton. "Let them know you are going to report them, but at the same time, try to pull as much information about them to have some knowledge about what you are reporting," said Benton.

A representative with Byram Healthcare told CBS Atlanta News their company number was stolen and they are working to fix the problem. At least 10 people, according to the company, have called to complain about the man soliciting money for payday loans.

If you feel you have been a victim of this scam, call Governor's Office of Consumer Protection at (404) 656-3790.

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