It's a scam, and all their threats are false and illegal. The bottom line is, these are criminals trying to steal consumers' money.
This is a very active group of scammers, many of whom are calling from India (and probably other countries) and are in cahoots with a group of American pay day loan scammers. They attempt to extort money from consumers with a myriad of false and illegal threats, and alternately pose as debt collectors, federal and state law enforcement officers, lawyers and bankers. Their trademark is to use meaningless legalese gobbylgook phrases like "We are downloading warrants against you" or "We are filing an affidavit against you." Another trademark phrase is to threaten the consumer with something like this ridiculous phrase: "If you don't pay then only God can help you."
Typical of many financial scams of this variety, they usually demand payment via Western Union or MoneyGram or credit card. They use any number of phony names such as US National Bank, Federal Investigation Bureau, US Legal Investigation Bureau, Christian Nicholas & Associates, US Federal Bank, Sonic Bank, Hopkins Law Office, CashNet, United Legal Processing, Morgan Associates, United Pay Services, National Processing, White Collar Crime Unit and many more. These criminals also use many phone numbers from many area codes; they're probably using caller-id spoofing software and/or VoIP to disguise their real location.
The main thing to remember is that anytime someone calls you demanding money to prevent your arrest, or demanding your lawyer's name so they can sue you, it is ALWAYS a scam. No debt collector (let alone criminals posing as debt collectors) has the authority to have anyone arrested for anything. (And it's illegal to them to threaten such a thing.) And since these foreign dirtbags routinely impersonate law enforcement, it's also important to remember that American law enforcement officers aren't in the business of debt collection. (Debt is a civil, not a criminal, matter.)
A consumer posting a complaint about these same scammers at 1-718-831-7157
notes that 718-831-7157
is associated with an India-based "outsourcing" telephone bank. Though a reverse search on WhitePages.com shows that 718-831-7157
is an unlisted land line in New York City, information on Debtbuyers.Com shows that that number is used by India-based Intellisourze. My guess is that it's a VoIP phone number.
This is another piece of the puzzle that fits in perfectly with other information about this scam. There are some reports on 800Notes that have suggested that the crooks behind this offshore scam are also the crooks behind the notorious Bass/Ellis Crosby & Assoc./States Predisposition scams in Florida and Georgia. The interesting thing is that the number of complaints on here about the US National Bank/US Legal Investigation/Federal Investigation scam skyrocketed *after* April 7, 2008 when Florida obtained a $1.3 million judgment against Ted Ellis Crosby, shutdown his operations and barred him from ever conducting debt collections in Florida
Here's the contact information for the phone bank in India:
701, Sapphier, Nr. Cargo Motors,
C.G. Road Navrangpura,
Ahmedabad - 9. (Guj.) INDIA.
A check on the domain name "intellisourze.com" shows that the website and name registration was created on May 8, just one month *after* the Crosby scams were shut down in Florida:
Domain Name: INTELLISOURZE.COM
Registrant: Pragra Infratech Pvt. Limited.
908, Aksaht Tower, Nr. ICICI Bank
Opp. Rajpath Club, S.G. Highway
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India 380054
Creation Date: 08-May-2008
Expiration Date: 08-May-2009
Though scam calls from these crooks have been going on long before May 8, the frequency of complaints about these calls increased considerably after Crosby was shut down in early April.
This is conjecture, but appearances suggest that Crosby and company were originally running a two-pronged payday loan scam operation -- with some calls being made from Jacksonville, Florida and other calls being made from a phone bank in India (and possibly other countries); then, after the Florida Attorney General shut down the Crosby scams in Florida, the Crosby crooks transferred most of their scam efforts to the India phone bank.
If you are targeted by these criminals, be sure to report them to all the following federal and state law enforcement agencies (most of which you can do online or over the phone):
1) The U.S. Secret Service is responsible for protecting the country's financial infrastructure and payment systems from international and domestic threats. Call or write your local Secret Service field office to alert them to the details of this attempted extortion. The addresses and phone numbers for the local Secret Service field offices are listed at or in your phone book.
2) Alert the FBI Be sure to tell the FBI that you are being targeted by extortionists over the phone. And if the crooks claim to be law enforcement or lawyers, officers of the court or bankers, be sure to include that information in your report.
3) File a complaint with your local police. Most police departments will take a report over the phone. Be sure to tell them that you're being targeted by an extortionist and give them all the details.
4) File a complaint your state's attorney general, the contact information for whom is at www.naag.org
5) File a complaint online with The Federal Trade Commission
If these crooks call back, promise them nothing, pay them nothing and tell them nothing other than that you know they're a scam and that you've reported them to law enforcement. (And be sure to report them to all the agencies above each time they call you.)
By the way, here's just a *small* sample of numbers used by this particular group of scammers. Read the reports and you'll see the same pattern time and again -- phony organization names, thick foreign accents, and oddly worded threats that are so melodramatic and ridiculous that it's laughable: