Victim Location 92591
Type of a scam Debt Collections
In addition to multiple violations of consumer privacy laws, and blatant disregard of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, individuals engaged in criminal acts and civil rights infringements, including but not limited to: conspiracy to attempt fraud, malicious intent to extort money under false pretenses, impersonation of a Federal employee, obstruction of justice, slander and defamation of character, idle threats (i.e. threats of false imprisonment), privacy violations, and threats of intent to cause bodily injury and property damage, all of which are punishable through our state and federal justice system. At 6:56 pm on January 21, 2017, I received a voicemail from a “Federal Investigator James McCaffrey”.6 This imposter referred to me by my legal name, last four of my SSN, and birthday (an obvious intimidation tactic). I returned his call and he continued to impersonate a “federal investigator [who was] preparing to have me federally indicted for defrauding CASH CALL”. The charges were allegedly ready to be filed, “if [I] did not pay $5,000 immediately.” (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, §1692 e- False or Misleading Representations).
During our conversation, James shifted between his role as a “Federal Investigator” to a “Federal Prosecutor”, then a “Federal Attorney working in conjunction with the Federal Courts”. James insisted I was facing multiple “federal charges” and “would be arrested in the morning”. I sarcastically applauded his many billets, while using my legal knowledge to dismiss his threats. I cited that it is not a crime to be financially unable to repay a debt, but it IS a crime to impersonate a Federal Investigator.” Then I told him, “I already filed a complaint with the State and they are handling it”, before terminating the call.
James ignored my requests and continued to disrupt my evening. His messages implicated that I was “lying on a federally recorded line” by stating “I was making monthly payments to the State” (deliberately changing my words). James further threatened that I would be imprisoned with a “mandatory 3-5-year sentence” and that my mother would be arrested, because she was listed as an emergency contact and “obligated to pay this debt.” Fed up with the level of harassment and false statements, I returned his call. A man with a different voice answered as Investigator McCaffrey. When I exposed him, the man said there were “about 800 employees” and that he was “instructed by someone to answer, if the phone rang”. He claimed he did not know if that individual shared his name. I demanded to be left alone and informed him that an emergency contact is not liable for anything. I also sent a text to the number, stating “it is illegal to discuss a personal debt with anyone other than the debtor.”
James called me 10 times that evening, leaving four additionally menacing voicemails. He called me “a habitual liar” and “fraud”, among other things. Debt or no debt, he did not understand that I would NEVER give a random caller my information and a payment. In a world brimming with cyber fraud, hacking attempts, and foreign scams coupled with his erratic approach, I would be stupid to give him a dollar.
Realizing he was not getting anywhere with me, he pursued harassment and attempted extortion of my family. The calls were humiliating, degrading, intimidating, criminal, and a complete violation of privacy laws and collection laws. James threatened my mother with false statements that “[I] was going to be arrested in 30 minutes, and charged with fraud and stolen commodities” and that “she would also be arrested”, because I “used her name on a federal loan”. Her “only choice [was] to pay 5,000” on my behalf. James also provided my mom with a phony case number: US.CA.1731601 and office address: 1724 Washington Street, Ste. 342, Buffalo, NY 14206.7
Fortunately, my mother is a tough cookie and was smart enough not to make a payment under duress—something she cannot afford either. She knew the allegations were out of character for me. However, the possibility of a mistaken identity/false imprisonment case, left her petrified. My mother is 65 years old, disabled, with a fragile heart condition and this monstrous collector practically sent her into shock, which could have resulted in a heart attack or stroke.
James was having so much fun pretending to be an investigator that he reached out to my father-in-law, and my out-of-state aunt. Note: neither of those individuals were named on the application. James called them incessantly, using similar corruptive tactics and false pretenses. My aunt’s blood pressure became so elevated she needed her prescribed medicine, for the first time in over a year. James deceived my father-in-law with lies that he was “federally obligated to repay $5,000” because I used his name on a loan. Having known me for over seven years, my father-in-law concluded the threats were false. On the other hand, James’ spewing of personal information convinced my father-in-law this man was capable of showing up at his home. Panicked from the threats to “bust down [his] door and throw [him] on the ground face-down”, he called my husband. We could hear the home phone ringing as we explained it was a scam. My father-in-law ordered James to leave him alone and threatened to call the police, just as my mother and aunt had done. After everyone dismissed his ultimatums, James left me a final voicemail admitting to calling my friends and family, and indicating they were willing to testify against me. He also indicated he would call my neighbors, so “they could be outside, watching as the federal agents kick down my door”. The following morning, I filed a police report with *** Police Department and lodged a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. When contacted by Officer ***, James slightly changed his story, but was ballsy enough to provide her with a false Federal ID #. He informed the officer that he worked for Allegiance Services “in conjunction with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office” and was “just trying to help” me. Officer *** warned James to cease all contact attempts, which he agreed to do.
Meanwhile, I ran a Federal case index search and was unable to locate the case number provided to my mother. There is no record of a State or Federal case (criminal or civil) filed against me. On January 23rd, I contacted the Office of Personnel Management and confirmed that “Investigator James McCaffrey” does not exist. Furthermore, the badge number provided to the investigating officer was made-up, in a willful obstruction of justice.
Based on my findings, I assume that “James McCaffrey” is a fictitious name which may be difficult to trace. Most of us are taught from a young age that we can be whatever we want to be. That doesn’t give us the right to impersonate an authoritative figure, and threaten the freedom and well-being of others. This complaint is intended to bring awareness to the debt collector/scam artists who think a small debt is worth destroying the reputation of others, and to the agencies who oversee them. CASH CALL has over 431 consumer complaints, multiple investigations, and a significant class-action suit in Northern California regarding the validity of these loans. CASH CALL’s loans were invalidated in several states already, and DSC is no longer in business.