I expect this will become a much bigger problem.
These people are the scum of the earth and I hate to say it, but all the misfortune the perpetrators suffered in the article is well deserved (in my candidly vengeful opinion).
This may not be the soundest advice, but IMO once you've gone to collections, the credit damage is done, and it's not worth paying them off strictly for the risk that they may be scamming you. It's sad that that murky corny of the industry has been allowed to continue harassment of consumers relatively unabated. I see people in this thread getting down-voted for calling out the FTC and other agencies for lack of action, but they are dead on.
If one man in his free time during the evenings can bring down a $1bn+ fraudulent operation, how can you possibly think the government is doing enough? Perhaps Andrew should be hired by the FBI.