Minnesota Attorney General sues Jamaican call centre
Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer
The US state of Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against a Jamaican call centre which it claims has been attempting to collect fake debts from its people.
The suit was filed in the Anoka County District Court yesterday by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson against Global Gateway Solutions, based at the Montego Bay Free Zone in St. James.
The Attorney General says her office has received numerous complaints from residents that they had been bullied by Global Gateway Solutions, which it says also operates as First Recovery Associates, Northwest Recovery Associates and National Recovery Associates.
A release posted on the Minnesota attorney general’s website says Global Gateway Solutions threatened Minnesotans with arrests and lawsuits if they did not pay debts that the State says were not real.
The release says in one instance, Global Gateway Solutions repeatedly called an elderly US couple and demanded that they clear a delinquent payday loan debt of US$400.
The Jamaican company also allegedly threatened to sue a woman if she did not pay off a payday loan within two days from a company she had never heard of.
Fearing a lawsuit, the woman reportedly paid Global Gateway US$366.95, but received calls from the company one month later about another debt.
The attorney general says Global Gateway failed to inform people of their legal right to dispute the 'debt' and refused to provide verification, which is required under US law.
The US Attorney General says some people reported that Global Gateway called their work phones, co-workers, or relatives in an attempt to bully them into paying debts they did not owe.
Attorney General Swanson yesterday issued a Consumer Alert entitled Phony Debt Collection Scams, to warn the public about these scams and provide tips on how to avoid them.
When The Gleaner/Power 106 News contacted Global Gateway Solutions, a receptionist said she was instructed to say the company has nothing to say about the allegations made against it by the Minnesota Attorney General.