You could imagine some enthusiastic member of Government brainstorming this idea, to use fake letters from fake lawyers threatening legal action (to increase revenues whilst keeping down costs with a simple cost-effective 'nudge'), before hopefully being elbowed in the ribs and given a lesson on ethics that nipped the plan in the bud.
However companies are somewhat less concerned with ethics, especially pay-day loan companies one could argue, so this plan was fully enacted by Wonga. Ethics aside, they now probably wish somebody had elbowed them in the ribs and told them this would likely backfire as a public relations disaster that would incur a hefty fine!
Wonga chased debt using fake law firms, says FCA Payday lender Wonga must pay £2.6m in compensation after sending letters from non-existent law firms to customers in arrears. The letters threatened legal action, but the law firms were false. In some cases Wonga added fees for these letters to customers' accounts. The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said 45,000 customers would be compensated. Wonga has apologised and said the tactic ended nearly four years ago. The company is the UK's largest payday lender, making nearly four million loans to one million customers in 2012, latest figures show. 'Serious' misconduct An investigation found that Wonga sent letters to customers from fake law firms called "Chainey, D'Amato & Shannon" and "Barker and Lowe Legal Recoveries". The plan was to make customers in arrears believe that their outstanding debt had been passed to a law firm, with legal action threatened if the debt was not paid.