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State Investigators on behalf of Gateway Holdings LLC

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State Investigators on behalf of Gateway Holdings LLC Reports & Reviews (1)

- Lafayette, LA, USA

The company I am describing below is telling people they are from the State of Florida's government agency located in Tampa (419 Pierce Street, Tampa Florida); which I verified as a state office but not one that handles this kind of business or has anything to do with this company that is either a collection agency or scam originator. This company is telling people they owe for an old payday loan completed online and that payment needs to be secured to avoid prosecution in your local state. They are trying to get payment through a third party credit/debit processing for a large additional fee or through money gram. Below is our story:

Over the past month, myself and family members of mine have been receiving disturbing phone calls from someone claiming to have a case under my name that is being filed against me from the State Attorney's office in Florida that will be presented in my home state because of an unpaid payday loan in the amount of $820.00 from 2011 for a company they are calling Gateway Holdings, LLC. The caller/collector had my birth date, last four of social, an old employer's information, and last four digits of an old bank account. They even had four family member's names and their phone numbers, whom three of which were also being called daily. The company usually called after noon each day until around 7:00 p.m. They called from a number outside of Tampa, Fl (Zephyrhills, Fl) on a nonvoip line. I asked for written validation of this debt, they claimed it had already been sent and refused to send again. They became aggressive on the phone stating they were paralegals and attorneys and investigators that were simply contacting me as a courteous so that I could clear up the debt before court proceedings would move forward; clearing stating that I could face imprisonment for wire fraud, intent to defraud a financial institution and so forth as well as have to pay thousands in court fees with possible jail sentencing if convicted. I tried to get information out of them as to how to settle the debt, stated I only had $100 now but might have more later and they said they would call back in one week and give me some restitution deal since I did not have previous fraud or felony convictions on my record that they supposedly had in front of them. "Giving me a first time offender exoneration," as they liked to call it. During the four different conversations with the collectors (Ms. Winters, Michael Watson, and Ms. Fulton)-they finally agreed to $100.00 payment with $100 monthly payments; sounding somewhat legitimate by this time, except for the fact that payday loans I had years ago were paid off a long time ago and this company was not one I had ever dealt with. I thought possibly I had one that did not get paid somehow, since I have been ill a lot lately and suffer from periodic memory fails. But when I asked them on how I was to make my payment, offering up my debit/credit card; the real hitches began. They could take my credit/debit payment but with a 35% processing fee that was charged by a third party company they used or I could pay 9.99 to a money gram location and send them the money. ""RED Flags"", so then I decided to play along further so I could more information for a report like this (so other people could avoid the scam). Instructions for sending the money were as follows:

1. Go to a walmart or CVS store to send the money on a blue and white moneygram form.

2. Insert client's personal information (ie. My name, address, signature

3.. On line 1 put their processing company's name (??not the actual collection group's name) They ask me to put WASP-which they said stood for Wasseerman, Saul, Associates, Processing. A familiar name I suppose to the

4. On line 2 they wanted me to Jacksonville, Florida as the city

5. On line 3 they wanted me to put my social security number as the account number so they would know it was for my debt (Seriously on a money gram form???crazy)

6. Then they stated that I had to call them back with the reference code at the top of receipt so that it could be put towards my restitution and exoneration file.

7. Then the gentleman transferred to someone else for verification that I was going to send the money and how I was going to send it and a date I was sending it; reminding me that they were doing me a favor.

This company is obviously either a collection agency with unethical practices of harassment or it is overseeing a massive scam that preys on consumers. Either way, this company refused to send me a "validation notification", to my current address as I requested, refused to stop calling me after I stated that I only wanted to have written communication from here on out, they refused to give me a valid address of their business or even their business name, they claimed to be with a State of Florida government office (stating they were on the 3rd floor of the 419 N. Pierce offices of the State Attorney), could not provide me with a landline from that location to contact them on, and they openly discussed my personal information with people (family members) that were not me or authorized by me to discuss my personal business (ie: debt amount, birth date, social, bank account numbers, and criminal prosecution on their behalf against me). During each of the phone conversations, two to three agents would pass my call back in forth between them to play a type of good cop/bad cop scene; in order to intimidate me into paying more or faster.

After researching them further, I found out that they are not affiliated with any Tampa agency, but in fact maybe associated with a group out of Jacksonville Florida that buys old or paid out debts for collection purposes. The money gram information gave them away in the end, WASP or Wasserman, SAUL, & Associates Processing. I have dealt with several collection agencies, loan companies, and traditional financial institutions; but have never encountered a company like this that operates in not only an unlawful manner but a despicable manner. If they truly wanted to collect on an old debt that I may or may not owe, they should have been straight forward and said their real name, their real address, and offered a protection manner for payment of accounts. What this company failed to recognize or know; was that I had worked for a payday loan company at one time in the collections department, knowing full well how to legally approach debtors and how to recognize unlawful practices. In turn I have filed a police report in my local area since the calls were made to my cell at my home or while traveling and had my family members do the same; so that there is a record of being harassed by this company if we ever have to go to court or file a scam claim against them. I also contacted my local, your agency, and the State Attorney's office in Florida. I want to make sure that this company does not do this to another person.

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