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Q. I had a "mediation" place i call me and said I did not pay a payday loan 10 years ago. I do not remember the loan. When I asked for some papers to prove that I owed the money the "mediator" said he sent it to my email. and told me that I needed to pay the loan immediately. by giving him my bank information.

A. This is a scam. "Mediators" and "arbitrators" do not contact people and collect debts. A mediator is a person that facilitates the settlement of cases. An arbitrator is a sort of private judge.

Also, no legitimate debt collector will insist that you pay immediately by providing account information. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that the collector provide you with a written "notice of debt" within 5 days of the first communication. You have the right to request verification of the debt, which you should exercise if you are not certain that you owe the debt to the person contacting you.

Report this contact to the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state Attorney General. The caller also violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, although the likelihood of recovery against scammers like this is small.

Finally, if you provided any financial account information, the account has been compromised and you should notify the institution immediately and get a new account number, if you do not want to find it drained completely.

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