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Is it illegal for an original creditor to use spoofing technology (Fake names on caller IDs) to contact an alleged debtor?

Detroit, MI |

I've heard it's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a debt collector to use spoofing technology to contact an alleged debtor (resulting in a fake name on the caller ID), but what about an original creditor? FDCPA law doesn't apply to original creditors. Does any other law apply to creditors who use this deceptive tactic? Thanks!

I'm talking about the following scenario: A company called a debtor about late payment on an account--repeatedly--from different phone numbers. Debtor's caller ID showed the phone numbers and the names associated with those calls. Some of those calls showed the name of an individual. Debtor called back those numbers and discovered that the numbers, supposedly belonging to an individual, actually belonged to the company to whom the debt was allegedly owed. The company was trying to disguise its identity. How can this be legal? Wouldn't the Federal "Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009" have some application here?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. You are correct that the FDCPA does not apply to origincal creditors. I would be suspicious of a company that is using spoofing technology, as it's likley a scam. What name and/or number shows up on your caller ID? Do you have any outstanding debts? Have you taken our a payday loan in the past?

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  2. Michigan's Collection Practices Act applies to original creditors - and as you suspect, spoofing is an unfair practice. Although not as generous as the FDCPA with respect to statutory damages, the state statute does allow for recovery of actual damages, double damages for a willful violation, as well as recovery of your costs and attorney fees.

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