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updated: 8/22/2013 6:53 AM

Wisconsin officials warn of unscrupulous debt collectors

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin officials are warning consumers about phone calls from unscrupulous debt collectors.

According to the state Department of Financial Institutions, the caller states he is attempting to serve a summons and if the consumer does not "act immediately," he or she will be arrested. Any threats of arrest or jail are bogus.

The state receives on average several phone complaints per day about these callers. Since Jan. 1, they've fielded more than 100 written complaints.

The department's director of the Bureau of Consumer Affairs, Paul Egide, says perpetrators may be illegally using information that consumers entered when applying for loans on the Internet.

He says in other cases companies that have a legitimate right to collect a debt may be engaging in illegal collection practices.

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