I just read the post by "Anonymous in Washington", and it hit me that this company must've chosen the 17th of June to harrass Washington state residents.
I, too, live in Washington state. After losing our home in the foreclosure nightmare last year, we had to scramble to find quick housing, and it was costly. Since late summer of 2008, we've been fighting to play catch-up.
Out of sheer stupidity and desperation, I took out a couple of payday loans. I had done internet searches where you put in your info, and then a broker matches you up with lenders.
My first lenders were MyCashNow.com and 500fastcash.com. I still needed more money, and couldn't get it the right way because of my destroyed credit. So, I then did another internet search. I found OSL/SSM Marketing, BMG (Bahamas Marketing Group), and TJF (which now goes by another name, incidentally).
These were super-high interest loans. I quickly started drowning in the debts, and began to search for advice about internet loans.
I learned that all 5 of these companies AND most internet payday loan companies, are not licensed to lend in any of the United States. New friends at a payday loan help forum told me these were illegal loans, that I was not obligated to pay anything more to the companies. They advised me to send letters to the companies, revoking authorization to withdraw anymore funds from my account. The next step was to close our bank account.
I made a point to pay the principal on all 5 loans. I felt that was important, to at least pay back what I borrowed, eventhough the illegal contract was not binding. I then took the advice of the people at the forum. I didn't hear anything back from any of the lenders, except for one.
I called the collections company and said, "This was an illegal loan, I paid the principal, and that's all you get from me." I never heard anything again...until almost 5 months later.
June 17th, 2009...
I was at work. I work in a bakery. I was covered in cake and icing, and I heard an overhead page that I needed to pick up a phone call. When I did, here was the conversation:
Him: "Hi, Lori. I'm Mark Williams from the Department of Law and Investigation. I've been trying to reach you, as you are in serious legal trouble. You committed check fraud, and KSM (or KMS?) Marketing is filing a lawsuit against you."
(I found this very strange right off the bat. He was obviously East Indian, and I knew that company name sounded completely made up.)
Me: "I have no idea who you are, what you're talking about, and I have no idea what KSM Marketing is."
Him: "Well, Ma'am, I'll explain. Please get a pen and paper, and take your case number down."
Me: "No, you tell me what's going on first."
Him: "Ma'am, just write this num-"
Me: "Start talking, or else this conversation is OVER, do you understand me?"
Him: "You are in deep trouble, Ma'am. I have an affidavit on my desk, with your name and address on it. Is your SSN# 53X-XX-XXXX?"
Me: "Yeeessss, but I never had a loan with this company, so explain that."
Him: "Ma'am, sometimes these companies go by different names."
Me: "Not my problem. Ever hear of identity theft? How do you know one of these companies didn't steal my information?"
Him: "Ma'am, you did have a loan with them. Why do I have your information on my desk? Can you explain that? You've had payday loans before. You did not pay this company, and you are going to suffer the consequences. Are your references named ______ and _____?"
Me: "Yes, but they have nothing to do with any of this, you leave them alone."
Him: "Well, Ma'am, since they are your references, they are going to be held responsible for your crimes."
Me: "Don't you threaten me, and don't you dare call us ever again! Do you hear me? NEVER AGAIN!!!"
Then, I hung up. I wasn't scared, only because I had heard of this sort of thing happening to many other people. I was just very, very angry, especially when they brought up my innocent reference people.
This morning, I finally got around to listening to my pile of voicemail messages. Half of them were from this same "Mark Williams" from "The Department of Law and Investigation". In one message, he was courteous and polite, saying he could not discuss any of the account details in a message.
In the next message, he said I had committed a crime, and that if I didn't call him back, I was in "deep trouble". He said I had committed check fraud, and that I was going to suffer serious legal consequences. In the following message, he said he was sending an investigator to my doorstep!!!
I filed a complaint with the Department of Financial Institutions in my state of Washington. I am going to follow up with a complaint to the FTC. I have saved the threatening voicemails, and I have all the payday loan agreement emails saved for evidence, too.
Enraged after hearing the voicemails and filing the first complaint, I wrote down his phone number. Looks like this fake company is listed under 646-395-1276, but Mark's number was 646-506-9441. I tried the first number, and everytime, it was busy, busy, busy.
I tried the second number, and recognized Mark's voice. I said, "Hi, this is Lori ____". He said, "Ah yes, Lori, Lori, Lori. How can I help you?" I said, "Get ready, because I've submitted complaints to the authorities on you and your company."
In a panic, he said he was transferring me to a "supervisor". The next man that answered I.D.'d himself as "Officer Andy Brown". I repeated the same thing, and he laughed and said, "Oh, I'll see you in court, and we'll see who's wrong here," and he hung up.
So, I called again. And again. And again, just to give them the same feeling they've given so many people. "Mark" kept panicking and sending me over to "Officer Andy", and I just told "Andy", "You're going down, you and your whole company, and I can't wait! Do you know how many people are filing formal complaints about your company? Do you know that you are breaking our country's fair debt collection laws? Doesn't that trouble you?"
He laughed and said, "You're wrong! See you behind bars, Ma'am." I said, "May God help you, Sir!!! Oh yeah, and get a real job!"
I slammed the phone down, and just felt better about giving it back to them.
Anonymous in Washington, don't worry. These are illegal companies. They cannot threaten to criminally prosecute you, and they can't threaten to send people to your house. They can't do that, but they do.
These people can't even settle for a company name. I've researched them online, and they've gone by a 3-letter name at one time, and I see them listed under "Cash Net Marketing". Now, they are going by what I guess they think is a more "scary" sounding name.
These are illegal and very bad people, and they must be stopped.