Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has sued New York debt collector Nationwide Recovery Group, LLC., for allegedly violating Ohio Consumer Protection laws, according to a Thursday announcement from the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Nationwide, which is based out of Buffalo and owned by Michael McCarthy, allegedly violated Ohio’s Fait Debt Collection Practices Act and the Consumer Sales Practices Act, according to the attorney general. The lawsuit alleges they violated these laws by pretending to be, or impersonating, officials from various government agencies.
“By law, debt collectors cannot threaten or mislead consumers,” DeWine said. “In this case, the business not only threatened consumers with legal action and arrest, it also pretended to be legitimate Ohio government agencies and spoofed caller IDs to further mislead consumers. Ohioans deserve better than that, and we are taking action to hold this debt collector accountable.”
Greene County Clerk of Courts Terri Mazur alerted DeWine when a resident reported the company allegedly called their house, including falsifying their phone number, and said they were demanding a debt be paid immediately.
“I would like to thank the Attorney General’s office for its diligence in identifying those responsible for these calls,” Mazur said. “I also am grateful that Greene County residents had the foresight to call my office to see if the claims these callers made were true. As government agencies we do our best to serve our communities, and we know it can be intimidating to receive a call that appears to come from the government.”