Posted by: Liz Jones
By Carter Dougherty, Bloomberg
A federal judge in Chicago moved to shut businesses that allegedly used illegally obtained personal financial data to make threatening debt collection calls from India to thousands of consumers who didn’t owe them money.
Thaker and the companies didn’t respond to requests for comment by phone and e-mail. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for Feb. 28, said Steve Baker, director of the FTC’s Midwest regional office.
Baker said the FTC doesn’t know how the businesses affiliated with Thaker obtained the financial information and said the agency hasn’t been able to obtain cooperation from Indian law enforcement officials. “We’re at the beginning” of the investigation, he said.
The Online Lenders Alliance, a trade association of companies involved with Internet-based loans, last year hired Freeh Group International LLC, a company founded by the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louis Freeh, to investigate after receiving widespread complaints from consumers about threatening calls. The callers “are making the whole industry look bad,” said Peter Barden, a spokesman for the group said.