• FOX13 Investigates: Imposter debt collector scams Memphis woman

    By: Leah Jordan

    Updated:

    An imposter scam is making its way through the Mid-South. 

    Lakesha Brown said she got a phone call from someone who claimed to be a debt collector. 

    Brown said she got a loan from Ace Cash Express in Memphis about six years ago. She told FOX13 she’s been paying on the loan for years but was recently contacted regarding the remaining balance. 

    “It was a woman by the name of Ms. Anderson… She told me she was calling me on behalf of Ace,” Brown said. “She even told me they’d have to garnish my check for $800 if I didn’t pay it, and I don’t even think my balance was at $800,” she said.

    Brown said she called the Better Business Bureau because something felt 'off.' 

    Nancy Butcher with the BBB confirmed Brown’s suspicion was correct, and that she had been scammed. 

    “The advice that we give is to never give personal or financial information to somebody who calls you over the phone because you have no way of knowing who’s on the other end of that phone call. It might be a real request, or it might be a scam,” Butcher said.  

    FOX13 Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan obtained a receipt that Brown received after paying $250 to “Ms. Anderson” over the phone. 

    Leah tracked down the address of the company on that receipt, which turned out to be a post office in Atlanta. 

    Butcher said that’s a red flag because the business cannot physically be located. Also, the phone number that originally called Brown about owing that $250 is now disconnected. 

    “I’m just trying to get what I’m entitled to because I feel like that was wrong on so many levels. Nobody deserves to be treated like that,” Brown said. 

    Brown is now out $250, and on top of that, still owes money to Ace for her original loan. She told FOX13 she knows others in the area have been impacted by the same scam and wants to warn families with her story. 

    Here a few tips from the BBB --  

    • Keep documentation when it comes to paying off loans. A little bit of organization can save you a lot of money and headaches over time. 
    • If you’re called by a loan or debt collector, hang up immediately and call the company back on a phone number you know is legitimate. This is a simple way to verify that you’re talking to a real company and not a scammer. 
    • Never give personal or financial information over the phone.   
       

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