A letter purportedly from a debt collection company went viral on social media, bringing to light a new scare tactic to coerce defaulters to make repayments.
- Fake court letters no legality, a scam
- Family members of defaulters who are blackmailed, slandered on social media should lodge police reports for criminal defamation
- MCA’s Michael Chong has no qualms naming banks that appoint unscrupulous debt collection agencies.
Unscrupulous debt-collectors are using a new tactic of instilling fear in loan defaulters – by issuing fake court letters and slandering them on social media sites such as Facebook, The Sun reported.
The letter addressed to a woman in Kota Kinabalu had stated that a warrant of arrest had been issued against her and will be served to her for failing to meet the demands of the company’s client and appear in court.
Apparently, calls by the daily to the two telephone numbers stated in the letter went unanswered.
The report said senior lawyer KA Ramu, who was shown the letter, was of the opinion that the document was unauthentic and had no legality.
He was reported as saying that any such notice should come from a law firm and those who receive such letters should carry out checks for the existence of such a company and also with the Bar Council before reporting the matter to the relevant authorities.
He added that they may also check with the courts to verify if the notice is genuine or fake.
It was also reported that MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who consulted his panel of lawyers after looking at the letter, said it was a scam.
According to Chong, obtaining an arrest warrant and executing it over a civil matter is a long process and not a simple procedure.
He also revealed that crooked debt-collectors often come up with new ruses in recovering bad debts.
Chong said the latest ploy was defaming and slandering defaulters and their family members in the social media.
“I refer to the family members as victims because they are innocent parties dragged into the mess caused by the defaulters. Of late, I have received cases of these innocent victims being blackmailed, slandered and defamed in Facebook to force the defaulters to pay up. Those who are facing such situations should lodge a police report for criminal defamation.” Chong told The Sun.
He added that there are also certain banks that have appointed unscrupulous debt collection company which use such tactics.
“I have named these banks to those who come to seek help at our bureau. As a department that renders public service, it is only right I do so for the benefit of the public. If the banks are not happy with it, they can sue me. My priority is to assist the innocent victims,” Chong was quoted as saying.