Haunted by Phantom Debt?

Phantom debts – sounds a little like a ghostly Halloween prank. Unfortunately, it’s no joke. Some fake debt collectors may try deception and threats to pressure you to pay debts that you don’t owe. The FTC recently obtained a temporary restraining order in a case against debt collectors, Pinnacle Payment Services, Lisa Jeter, her partners and related companies about just these kinds of practices. The court order shuts down the operation, pending trial.

Imagine getting a phone message like this:

This is the Civil Investigations Unit. We are contacting you in regards to a complaint being filed against you, pursuant to claim and affidavit number D00D-2932, where you have been named a respondent in a court action and must appear… Please forward this information to your attorney in that the order to show cause contains a restraining order. You or  your attorney will have 24 to 48 hours to oppose this matter… Call 757-555-1234.

Who wouldn’t be spooked? The FTC has gotten almost 3,000 complaints about messages like this. 

Sometimes the collectors use fictitious names that imply they are or are affiliated with a law firm. They threaten that if you don’t pay, you could suffer serious consequences – like being sued, being arrested at work, having your bank account closed, your wages garnished, or forced to appear in court thousands of miles from home.

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector, ask for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice." The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If the caller refuses to give you all this information, don’t pay! Paying a fake debt collector won’t always make them go away: They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you. Don’t give or confirm any of your financial or other sensitive information, either. Phony debt collectors can use your information to commit identity theft by charging your existing credit cards, or opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

Phantom debt can be scary any time. If you get a call about a debt that just doesn’t ring true, contact the FTC.

Tagged with: debt collection, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I was verbally THREATENED with immediate arrest, if I didn't pay up via credit card/debit card for a supposed "payday loan debt". The man was insulting, rude, and yelling over the phone. At which point I hung up and contacted a friend in law enforcement.

I received a phone call from Justin Pryor stating he was representing cmg group he called from 1 8883127739 stating I was refusing to pay he was sending documents to my job and that my check was being garnished I need this to stop I am willing to form a group of people to help me stop this to many people are getting scammed I am a single mom and I am not giving away free money so who's with me this has to stop

I am great full to you. Because often I have received this type of call and fall in anxiety. I do not crime and always I am against crime. but Someone telephone me and Say something wrong.
Thank you.

I was woken up this morning by a Mercantile Adjustment Bureau call which asked for me by name but would not tell me anything more until I gave them my age (and who knows what else after that...) I refused to go down that path with an unknown caller. She refused to even tell me what the nature of her company is, much less why she was calling me. After the fact I figured out they are debt collectors and in fact, called ID indicated we've gotten 3 prior call from this "toll free" caller over the last few days What's a consumer to do? Should I have given some information to convince her I was not the person she's looking for? Do privacy considerations prevent the collector from revealing the nature of the call or even identifying themselves?

No, you did the right thing not giving her any more information than you did. In answer to your questions, yes, the privacy laws do not allow discussing a personal debt with anyone other than the the debtor or his declared representative, i.e. attorney. They can, however leave a message with their name, business name and return number if you agree you know the person and will deliver the message. If the calls continue, keep a log of when, record them if you can, but do tell the caller the call may be recorded; and after a month, report them to your State Attorney General. All the instructions will be on the AG's web site. Also, file with the FCC and any consumer protection groups your state may offer.

For the past week, I have received a phone call at 8:00 A.M. every morning from a company called Leading Edge Debt Collector. The message says very important, please press 1 to speak with a representative. When I press 1 I am on hold, then I get a dial tone. There is no number given for me to return a call. Please advise me as what I can do. More than anything, it is a nuisance having this call every morning.

I have gotten these before! These people, who work in a place like that, will perish into eternal flames using their scripted tactics. THEY will threaten, and warn you that there is a WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST, in your County. They will post a LIEN ON YOUR POSSESSIONS, and will claim that they work in the LAW OFFICES OF "---". I asked them to connect me with one of the Attorney's and they then said that it's not an actual LAW FIRM, but an office BUILDING where there are Law Firms, within. These people will try to get you to pay, at that moment to "STOP PROCEEDINGS FOR YOUR ARREST", these types of False Representations are Against The Law!

Find out where the calls are coming from then call the police department in that area and give the pd the callers number.

Having had back surgery's and countless tests since 2007, my bills were paid. On Medicaire I am receiving
from the hospitals billing offices bills that are being charged 2,3 &4 times. Collection agencies that send out a Bills with no contact number or my Consumer Rights; only a PO Box.
In addition almost every incoming call is coming from scammers trying to sell me alert calls buttons. I do not have the time to address these. Comcast who carries my phone service does nothing to stop these. My credit score before all this was 812. I do not now what to do. Any suggestions

I have gotten several calls at 7 am regarding a supposed debt with the IRS the man calling is very persistent and has a very thick indian or Asian accent it is hard to understand him. The telephone number he calls from is 585-466-0174 and he says that is the hotline for his division of the Internal Revenue Service and it is a time sensitive matter to call him back immediately or to have my legal representative to call him back do not wait. I contacted the IRS and this is bogus the real IRS will contact you by mail if they have any issues with you. This guy needs to go to jail. who knows how many people fall for this.

am getting these call from the same guy.... just deleting him off of my machines..

Credit Management, LP (?) sent a letter after my father died, pretending he owed them money. I am paying so many debts, now, trying to get his affairs in order. Luckily, I have a blanket policy never to deal with debt collectors, so I tried to contact TIME WARNER - they don't even offer service in my father's state....

I had received these calls as well, they've recently began again from the phone number 323-393-1028, I'm relieved to see this is something that many others have experienced because I know now that I'm not crazy. They are very tricky with their language and threats, don't be fooled!

Ok, I fell for this one...I have paid $100....and automatic payments are set up. Aside from cancelling the card, what else do I need to do now?

Canceling the card is a great card, you may have to close your account as well.

We received calls in the past from a man with an Indian accent. He has harrassed one of our employees. We filed a complaint and it stopped. But.....He's back! This time using profanity and making threats. We have hung up on him and he calls back numerous times, each time more profanity and threats. The employee has filed another complaint, we have advised staff to not put the calls through to the employee and to hang up. Hopefully it will stop.

I have received 2 phone calls around middle decemeber from the "dept of justice" from a man with a heavy Indian accent saying that I have commited fraud, my medical bills, and credit card fraud. This all happened after I applied for pay day loans and credit cards online. I do have my debt but not because I purposely didn't pay but because I lost my job at the time of these events that I just couldn't pay it. With the amount of debt that I have, this has never happened to me until recently. Probably over the weekend and this morning, I received an email now from a Michael Davis claiming to be a senior attorney from Holland and Hart Assoc. I looked up Holland and Hart Assoc. which the spelling on the actual website is Holland & Hart not the "and" spelled out. Saying that "I am really very sorry to say you that you are going to be legally prosecuted in the Court House within couple of days. Your SSN is put on hold by US Government" Who wouldn't get spooked by this. I know that I have never commited any crimes other than being hard on money and unable to pay like a lot of Americans which lead to bad credit. My heart almost stopped beating at the first sight of that first email. I'm planning to close that email and never ever again apply for any credit card that isn't big name or cash advances ever again. So stresfful!

I just received the exact same email. It stated I would have to pay over 11,000 dollars for court costs, attorneys fees and bail....BAIL!?!?! Then I got a phone call from the number listed on the email. 773-945-1697. Didn't answer, but i did a little research and found it was cash net USA. There are a lot of complaints out there about these people. I know for 110% fact that I do not owe them a dime. Its just a big time scam to scare you into paying a "phantom debt"

I hope they put that caller in jail. If the caller is in the U.S. you can give the police department in that area the number and that may stop the caller.

I've been getting calls like this from Western Acquisitions Group in Albion NY (Buffalo Area)that seem to be violating FDCPA rules. They are leaving process server threat messages, saying SS# flagged for fraud or suspicious activity and claiming to be law firm. They are currently using toll free numbers 877-668-3879 877-664-9642.

Just last week I got home from work and checked my voicemail and there was a message from a guy who claimed his name was Ryan Miller. He had a very thick accent. I thought it was strange that he had such an American name. The message sounded urgent. He said that he was with some kind of Legal Action Agency. I was certain it was a case of mistaken identity so I called back to straighten it out. The man then told me that I there was a warrant out for my arrest and that the authorities would be at my place of business in the next 48 hours to serve the warrant. The charge on me he said was check fraud for $179 in finance charges on a payday loan I never even applied for. I was stunned. I refused to give him my debit card # but he already had my social security # and my bank account #. I was freaked out. He began yelling at me and threatening me. He called from a Louisiana area code. And has since called several more times pretending to be other businesses. I want this guy to go down. Funny thing was that I could here a bunch of people in the background all trying to pull the same scam.

I have had the exact same call today and for weeks same mans name.

I am having the same trouble, they say they are a cash advance company and I owe them $692.They are harassing not only myself but my job and other co workers who answer the phone. They called my job 3 hours straight back to back. I am so afraid I will eventually lose my job if this does not stop.As well the people you talk to have a very thick Indian accent, they are rude,they laugh at you,it is terrible.I hope whoever these people are burn in hell.It is horrible to treat people this way.

My wife got a calling, threatening that I will be arrested and will not reach home. According to the caller I owe some sort of tax that is only applied to Pakistanis. He told his name as Michael Brown. He was speaking English with American accent and then handed phone over to an Urdu speaking guy. My sister in law has also received this kind of call. Looks like they target women folk who are at home (they call between 9 to 5). They were asking for around 1900 dollars. If they got only one person in one day , they must be making lot of money.
What was shocking is the kind of threatening language and attitude. I am posting the number they asked us to call back 202-754-8078

I received a message from "The Department of Justice" which forwarded me to RCG Litigation who forwarded me to Edison Park Associates. They had my social security, date of birth and credit card in formation, threatening to sue me in a civil suit for a credit card I've never had. The numbers they gave were 855-699-3998 and 909-456-1853. I didn't pay them obviously, but was very startled by the amount of my information they have on file. And they were able to pull my credit report from Experian, which doesn't help my level of confidence on what they will soon do with all of my information.

they stalk people to find there info they fowled me for more then a year I got there names license plates sent it to cops fbi ftc governors senators congress men they wont help me I ask them to investigate look up the license plates I got and there names they say file a repot so the people that are stalking you get your all your info it seems the ftc works with the debt collecters not agenst them

I also got a call asking me call back 2027548078 or face arrest from Federal crime enforcement. It sounds like a perfect scam.

I just got a voicemail stating I will be arrested at my work and a warrant is being issued gave me there name and the dect I need to talk to when callng back.. I did some research via internet and came up with nothing until I cam across this site.. I am on probation so this really scared me, but at the same time I have nothing wrong at all.. I listed carefully to the message serveral times and concluded it was a scam or collections from the noises in the background.. I've gotten this type calls in the past.. How do they get away with this???

I also got a call asking me call back 202 754 8078 or face arrest from Federal crime enforcement. The message was they will be sending law enforcement agent to arrent me if I do not return their call. It sounds like a perfect scam.

I have been receiving these same phone calls for a week. When I try calling back it will not go through. THey are threatening litigation. I blocked their number but they made it through again today with a different number. 1866-274-6409 and now I am trying to figure the other number. They state they are from the Law offices of celia cesar. I researched online and could not find anything with this. They do not ask for me by my name either.

In this article you can find more tips on how to handle these calls from fake debt collectors.

We got a call at our place of business looking for an employee who is Indian. Left message similar to the above claiming he was Shawn Woods and we were going to be under arrest if we didn't call back 202-754-8078 (which I'm sure would lead to making payments).

Worst accent ever, could hear the other call center guys in the background, didn't have a clue how the legal system works (never heard of a cop calling randomly and informing you you're being arrested - they usually just show up and do it).

Total waste of time.

Got a call today from someone that said they were from some kind of summons place telling me I committed fraud by not telling the credit card company I moved. The debt was from 2000. He said they were filing 2 criminal complaints against me. I called back and he wanted me to pay a settlement over the phone so I hung up. The number was 313-347-8644 it was listed to a company call allegiance telecom.

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

I received over 10 calls from: 2027548078 with same threat.
Can anyone do something about this.

I received over 10 calls with same threat from 202.754.8078.
Can FTC do something about this. This is interrupting my business.

Lately I've been getting calls from Potter Scott & Associates at my place of work saying that they have papers to serve me at my work with an officer. Also have told me that I will be arrested. That charges of fraud have been placed against my social and my bank account number. They used my social and my account number over the phone. They are telling my coworkers the same if they answer the phone. They use several phone numbers. This is an actual company. I don't know how they can get away with this. I know if I harassed someone on the phone that I would get in trouble.

I have the same experience as Franklin exactly. It was even the same people. Potter Scott & Associates. They have been calling my work every day at least three times a day. They use several different numbers to call from. I think that they need to be stopped.

A new debt collector, Global United Arbitration, has left messages on my answering machine for my daughter. The message implied pending litigating. I spoke to Phil Bifulco, who claimed to be the office manager. He told me that if the debt my daughter owed for a payday loan for Cashnet USA was not paid by Monday he was going to issue a warrant on her and prosecute her for felony bank fraud and theft by check. He asked me if I 'want to help her out.' He started demanding my debit or credit card information. He gave the address of his company as 3125 Walden Avenue, Depew, N.Y. 14043. The address for his LLC is his home address at 13432 North Road, Alden, N.Y. 14004.

Same here, they wanted my social security number. Said I had a pay day loan at Cash Net USA. I told them my attorney will respond.

Same here. I received a call yesterday and today, by a so called process server, who gave me a diferent number to call back each day. i called each day- and both days spoke with an Allen Klein who also claims to be the "office manager". He was extremely rude and threatening. I files a complaint with their local BBB, and contacted my local attorney general. I will also be filing a complaint with the FTC. This company is in violation of FDCPA regulations. I was advised not to conduct any financial transactions with this company as it has been reported that it is a scam. There are many consumer alerts regarding scams involving this comapny and it affiliates.

I received a call today from Demetrius Malloy calling from PR associates 844 832 0113. He's stating that charges will be filed tomorrow morning in my county if I do not call him back at this number by a certain time. This actually happens to me every 6 months or so. No matter how many times I change my number or anything. The only difference is this time the called my sister's house and left the same message. I don't know how to stop them. It's driving me crazy.

Same thing, they keep calling my job. When I asked for them to stop calling this number- this rude women mocked me in a baby whining voice saying "don't call here with that and no they will not stop calling and hung up. Now, this guy named Micha Stone is calling my job. I filed a report with the FTC.

What about an electric company forcing you to pay on a past bill they claim belongs to you. We were forced to pay Florida Power and Light 800.00 for usage on a property that we leased and had to vacate after a few months because the owner foreclosed and the bank took it over. ^The bank should pay from the minute were we notified of the foreclosure.

While I agree with your sentiment, you should have turned off all utilities/services the instant you left the building. The power companies agreement is with you not the building owner and/or his creditors.

A family member received a call from 844/832-0113 this morning in regards to me and a case number. Asked what my last name was (despite they gave it to him when they called), asked for my phone number, address, etc. He refused to release any information and called me to let me know. I have no clue who these people are and no one has called me directly.

JS A guy by the name of Michael Stafford called from TC&Associates threatened me with putting a lien on my two vehicles,garnishing my wages, and contacting the Magistrate in my County. So I agreed to pay them twice a Month. I recently had a light stroke. So I decided to call him to bring my payments down the phone rings and there's no live human being to talk to they never gave me an address or an account number. As of today I have stopped all payments from my bank account.

I had the same thing happen more or less, said i had a cash loan of 1100 i believe was the amount, paid him twice, said if i dont have 950 dollars by XXX date then he will be taking legal action...Anything happen since you stopped paying?

Jacob did yu stop payments? If so, what happened? I had the same guy call me and I started making payments and they are to much. I have tried to contact him and I have not been successful. Im thinking the only thing to do is stop payment and then he would contact me.

The number is 1(855)837-9788 TC & Associates.

I too received several calls from Western Acquisiton Group, although they changed their name each time they called or answered the phone. They claimed I'd be served with a court summons within 24 hours if I didn't give them a credit card or checking routing number. I called back to get the name and address of their company so that i could send them a letter challenging the debt, according to the fair debt collections act, and the guy who claimed to be an attorney wouldn't give it to me, got verbally abusive and hung up on me. When I called the NY attorney general's office I was informed that they had gotten hundreds of calls about the same kind of scam and that I could expect a letter next. She also warned me about the IRS email scam. From now on I'm not answering any calls unless I know the number. How do these scumbags get our cell numbers and credit report info anyway? It's scary If you ask me.

Is it called western group llc?

I have been receiving these calls for weeks from Ryan miller at 662-580-4768 saying I owe $179 for processing fees in payday loan that I don't have. Days he is having me arrested at my work on Friday He calls all day on my work and cell number

My families been receiving calls for the past week and leaving voicemails from a Christopher Beasley asking for me to return their calls due to some pending warrants for my arrest. When I called and spoke to Beasley he informed me that I owed $1300 n facing arrest if u didn't pay within the hour. He then connects to me their lead attorney claiming to work for Coleman Belcher and assoc., who threatens a warrant to pick me up at work if I don't pay. When I searched their names and organization none online I found nothing.

April 29,2014 Ijust got a call from Western Acquisitions Group.The woman who called said I was going to be served with a summons to appear in court. She would not say what it was about. I told her Iwas going to my local police department and asking them. I then asked her what law inforcement agency she was with. She hung up on me. The number she called from is 844-809-8788.

My husband received a call from 844-809-8788 with the same threat! How do I report this scam?!

My elderly mother keeps receiving calls from this number, threatening summons action. This was in reference to an old account of my brother's (who has lived in Alaska for the last 30 years and with whom we have no contact). I have told the company 'Caring Legal Services' that if they contact her again, that they will be the ones speaking with an attorney. The man that called was named Christopher Powell and I am wondering if there is anything else we can do to stop these harrassing phone calls. The gentleman (and I use that term loosely) that called today told her that she would be served with a summons in the next 48 hours. We have received no less than 8 calls over this and it is not my brother's phone number nor did my mother have anything to do with this account.

I was so confused when I was told about the payday loan that I had defaulted on. I was told there was a warrant in Santa Cruz County, California for my arrest for bank fraud and bad checks. I never had a loan with MYCASHNET and found that company does not exist. They then changed the company I owed money to; and said I borrowed from MYCASHNOW. I researched that online site and it stated they were not a lender but a "finder of loans". CENTURY CLAIMS is not a real collection agency. These are scam artists. Be careful of a very understanding woman who goes by the names: Katelyn Wahlberg, Chris Caldwell, Miss Caldwell or sometimes just CALDWELL. 224-267-0820. They refused to give me the debt information or their mailing address. THIS IS A PHONY PAYDAY LOAN DEBT COLLECTOR! They will say you had an automatic payment returned from the bank - what they want is your current checking account number so they can drain your account! The incoming number will be 215-710-1733. Stay calm, and ask for them to give you the original creditor's name, address, account number and to send a validation letter showing proof you owe the debt. When you do this, they will claim they have sent you many letters (all lost in the mail), shift to your impending jail time, yell at you, etc. When I let Miss Caldwell/Wahlberg know that the call was being recorded for legal purposes, she said that my account was leaving the "system" that day and to never call her again! I am sure they will return in another form.

I have been getting calls for a few years about a payday loan that WAS paid. But not from the company that I took the loan with. My most recent call was from Washington 206-317-3128. They all have accents and threaten with visits to my home, work and incarceration.

Has any one received a call from global United arbitration?

Yes. Global united arbitration has been calling me several times a day saying I'm going to be sued.......

The owner of Global United Arbitration is a creature called Phil Bifulco. Please, contact an FDCPA attorney in your state. They take these cases on contingency, meaning you do not pay the attorney.

Have any of you heard from a guy named Brian Cooper. He works for Western Acquisitions Group?

I just got a call from some company saying they had a summons for me which would be delivered to my home or my job. They also said a supervisor from my job needed to be there. This was on voicemail. I called back the number and got a vm for a Shelly Davidson of Western Acquisition Group. I have no idea what they are talking about. This does not sound legal or even good manners

I got a call from 844-891-8228 last night and this afternoon leaving a message on my answering machine that they were coming to serve me documents that I must sign and would be at my work and/or home between 12 &5 however if I call this number they would stop the process. The woman was threatening sounding and had instructed me to secure my firearms (I don't even have a paint gun!) have my children supervised and to lock up my dogs as she and a uniformed officer would be by. When I called the number Victoria Ford answered stating they were AB mediation services and asked for the last 4 of my social which I refused and informed her she sounded spammy. All she would tell me was there were 2 allegations made against me in civil court and became rude when I asked for the spelling of her company name which she replied "mam, I already told you 3times"then hung up when she heard my fiancé in the background exclaiming not to give out any personal info.. When I got home from work today and received the second message leading me to think I was getting arrested as it scared me i called my sisters and the cops. My sister spoke to her and was told I had a credit card debt for 9k from 2002 and if I didn't accept the papers because they had already filed to serve me with our county court, I could negotiate with them otherwise they were coming for me. how come they gave my sister more info than me when i wouldnt give my social &. She doesnt know it? There was a debt over 10 years ago however it was settled &paid & there is no evidence of this on my credit report & these people aren't even the ones who had my master card account in the first place.The thing that stinks is my father helped me out with that debt however he passed away 4 years ago so I don't know how to find proof. The police officer called me within an hour of leaving my house stating they were a debt collector but their company name was A &S civil mediation services and they were in Amherst NY as I was told yesterday. When he pressed for more info on their address she would only supply him with a po box and would need verification. He told her he was officer so and so and to cal the police department phone number back the dispatcher would patch him through..she hung up. He said the detectives would look into it. My mother just passed away 4 weeks ago from a terminal illness here at home where I lived with her taking care of her when not at work,my sister helped out as well so this threatening phone call out of the blue really just caused me so much anxiety I am literal sick now. This should not be allowed! Anyone get this call or have any advice? Would be much appreciated.

I have a similar situation. Please see my comments below. And thank you for leaving this comment letting me know I am not alone!!!

Rec call from restricted at 9am this morning from a raspy-voiced woman stating this call was exclusively for ****. A last name not even my own, but the first name was correct. Stated she had documentation that I needed to sign and she would be arriving at my residence and last known place of employment (no longer employed anywhere!) for my signature. That I needed 2 valid forms of state ID. Gave me the number of 844-891-8228 as the company of service and that I could call to confirm. That she'd see me tomorrow. Really? Watch the the gun at the door lady!

Thank you for saying what I was thinking.

I also received a call and voicemail. The woman said her name is Crystal Green but her phone number DOES NOT appear on caller ID so I have no way of blocking it. Yesterday I picked up the call and she was telling me someone want to take me to court, I pressed her for more information and she said she is just a "courier" She then gave me a phone number: 844 891-8228 and a FILE/Case Number. She also said if I don't call that number to settle, she will SEE ME tomorrow. I got curious and called 844 891-8228 and the automated voice system said it's "Arbitration Office" I hung up before actually pressing Option one or two as it directed me to.

Today I got her voicemail again saying she will be seeing me this afternoon (didn't even specify a time) and told me to be ready. Again, she left me that 844 number with the same File/Case number. I asked my mom about it and she said it's all a scam. How can you be served for court summon without a formal letter or written notice? I am curious to see if she will actually knock on my door today.

We got a call like this July 25 from a person saying they were going to serve papers on my husband . They gave us a case number and to call 844-891-8228. My husband called it and it was about a charge card we never had. Does anybody know anything about these threatening people.

I recently received several voicemails from a Brian Cooper with Western Acquisitions indicating that I would be served with a court summons at my residence or workplace within the next 24 hours and that I should be prepared to provide 2 forms of identification and have a supervisor available as a witness. Well, as you can imagine, my initial reaction was shock and disbelief that I was going to be served at work. I decided to call them and obtain additional information on the alleged debt obligation. I returned the call to "Western Acquisitions" at 844-879-3976 and spoke to Mr Brian Cooper. However, he was unable to confirm the amount of the debt or the date of last payment (that determines when the statute of limitations will expire with respect to creditors ability to file lawsuit to collect debt...in the state of CO it is 6 years). When I pressed him for more details about the original creditor he said the attorney has the file with all the details but of course he wasn't available to speak with me. I told them I wasn't interested in settling a debt that was over 12 years old unless they could provide a written confirmation of the debt balance etc etc. Later that evening someone tried to serve me at my residence but I refused to answer the door. I called them again to garner more details about the company .... at first they said they were a law firm but eventually admitted that they were a "mediation" firm but firmly denied that they were a debt collector. Well, as we all know, if someone is calling to collect debt they are subject to the creditor collection rules and regulations defined by the FAIR CREDIT COLLECTION ACT.

Do not be intimidated by these jokers ... ask them to provide a written confirmation of the debt they are attempting to collect including 1. ORIGINAL CREDITOR NAME and ADDRESS 2. AMOUNT OF DEBT 3. DATE AND AMOUNT OF LAST PAYMENT (this is critical as it determines the period under which the creditor can sue you in court to enforce payment). DO NOT AGREE TO ANY PAYMENT PLAN OR CONFIRM THAT YOU OWE THE DEBT until they validate the debt in writing.

If you are interested in filing a complaint regarding these collection tactics employed by Western Acquisitions, please use the following link: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#debt-collection

Good luck and stay strong ... don't be intimidated by these jokers!!

Apparently they've changed their name to Western Legal

I received a phone call at work from a "Jonathan Edwards " at 516-246-6663 claiming that if I didn't contact their office within the hour, they would be serving me with court papers.
They claimed that.I had a complaint filed against me for a fraudulent account. They told me to call 855-886-5846 to speak to Karen or Kim Halperin. She sounded like a nasty old hag who smoked one too many cartons of cigarettes and her attitude matched. She actually did have my information and claimed that I owed $600.00 to a payday loan that was deposited into a former bank account. Before I realised that I was dealing with con artists, I got into a shouting match with this (expletive.) She eventually hung up on me. I called my former financial institution and (Surprise) there was NO record of a deposit from that supposed lender. I immediately did reverse searches on the numbers and Google the company. The only Western Legal is in the U.K. I IMMEDIATELY filed a complaint with the FTC and included all numbers involved.

Thanks for sharing your experience and for filing a complaint with the FTC. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

Apparently that hasn't worked, because they called me yet again, this time the name was Linda Armstrong. Being that I have been bombarded and trying to take care of my mother who suffered a stroke, I only heard case manager, so I thought it was her health insurance company. She said the same BS about a fraud case and that they had to serve me papers. I told them to send me the paperwork, but they claim they don't have my address (oh but they have my banking info? ) I realized after the fact that it was the same damn number (A CELL PHONE- WHAT DEBT COMPANY USES A CELL PHONE?) I now have to get my cell phone number changed because of this BS.

This number have been calling me constantly of which I know is not true. My bank already have done an investigation. I just now need them to stop calling me under various numbers. Yes the intro has the same similarity as the top of this article. They need to be stopped!

8443277055 anyone else getting calls? I call it says fidelity I don't owe money to fidelity but threatens to serve me in pursuit of violation of title 18 chapter 63 section 1343. Doesn't call me but family saying I better have valid proof of ID in 7days at home or work. I don't know who these people are anyone else know. It's freaking me out when I did nothing.

First a Christopher Bellmont called and left meesage saying to call 5855548297 to resolve a debt or my husband would get served papers in 24 hours. My husband called that # and talked to Kimberly West. She told him he had to the end of the day to make payment arrangements. When I talked to her we shared a few words and then she called my husband back and told him that he better have an answer in 20 mins or she was going ahead with the court papers and she would not talk to me. When I did talk to her I asked why this Christopher Bellmont threatened with the court papers and she said that was a 3rd party and that they have nothing to do with them that they are just process servers. Today I called the "process servers" number that was on my husbands call log and Kimberly answered! How can she answer a phone for a third party process server when she has nothing to do with them? We shared a few more words. A few minutes later a guy named Blake called from Kimberlys phone number. He was rude of course and when I wasnt taking his crap he said" When Blake talks you listen". Well that sent me over the edge so we shared words and he tried to tell me that my husband was cheating on me because another womans name was on the account. This is an account from 2003! Im sure there was. All I did was laugh and told him im reporting them. He hung up. My husband called me and said that he got a message that they are going to start papers. BIG SURPRISE!!! If it was up to my husband he would have paid the money they wanted but im not like that. They didnt provide any papers with letterheads, nothing with a physical address, wouldnt answer questions, not professional at all and answering each others phones when supposedly they have nothing to do with the third party. SCAM!!!! Please report them to anybody you can. We work hard for our money and I will not let scam artist take it away!

Received four calls from blocked call, telling me to call 1-866-696-8034 within 2hours to let them know where I was, otherwise I would be served with "legal documents". (Never identified as a debt collector, just a legal process server).
Was told on first call, there would be three attempts to contact me, and after the 3rd attempt would be classified as "failure to be served"served and/or arrested. I did a search of the phone number and found this website. However, the individual who called had the same initials J.S. from Global Document Servers. Was given the 866 number to call my "case manager" with a case file. I never called. I did make a call to my local sheriff, who told me it was a scam. I recently pulled my credit report and found many errors and an item listed as collection, when I have proof I paid in full in 1997! Not sure what sort of brain trusts Global Document Servers hired, because I received a fourth phone (I was told I was only getting three courtesy calls), which was apparently my final final notice. Regardless, sheriff report filed , county records show nothing, FTC complaint filed, and AG (Florida) complaint filed. The sheriff did say if one of these clowns shows up at my door to call them ASAP.

Annoyed- Did anything ever come of this? I am being harassed by the same company by Jesse Sanderson, with the same 2 hour window threat to call them back. Today was their 2nd attempt at calling. Global Document Servers did not give me the nature of the paperwork or debt? as I believe they are legally supposed to do. I also filed a complaint with the FTC and added my number to the Do Not Call list. I also blocked their UNKNOWN number. Nevertheless, I'm nervous. Hate to get police involved but I feel better hearing what your local sheriff said. Thanks for sharing!


I got the same calls. Said I was being sued. Gave me deadlines. Wouldn't give info. I reported them and an attorney advised it sounded like fraud. Anything come of this for you?

I received the same email, but did not receive any information to contact them. So I emailed them back asking for more information and never received anything then received another email the same way today. I am tired of this and I want it to stop!

Got a phone this morning from a "Legal Services Dept"...by a gentleman who told me I was going to be served with a summons to court for non payment of an old pay day loan from ten years ago. I have no idea how this man got my phone number as I dont even live in the same state anymore and the phone in fact belongs to a room mate. I am going to assume they retrieved the information from a utilities search or somewhere I used that number as a contact number..I cant imagine how else they could have gotten that number for me. Anyway, he proceeded to inform me that I had an old debt and he was there to help me so I wouldn't be summoned to court. I informed him of the statute of limitations and told him never to call that number again and hung up. They have tried this before under a different alias, but last time saying they were from a government agency and that I had committed check fraud and they were going to put a warrant out for my arrest. I am still waiting on that warrant on a debt that has exceeded its statute of limitations a long time ago. They wont trick me into giving them one red cent. I found out through some research that they buy these old delinquent accounts, many of which are way past their statute of limitations for pennies on the dollar, and pursue them as if they are still active. I also read that if you do in fact agree to send them any sort of payment and you do, the account is actually reinstated and legal to collect on again. So they can then in fact pursue legal repayment of the debt. Dont send them anything. Nothing. Bunch of scam artists. The scariest part of the whole deal isn't the "agency" itself but how they were able to get a phone number for me..now that is crazy.

I was called by a restricted number and spoke with Richard Gabel (sp) who stated he was a courier and had documents for me. He demanded that I make myself available between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and he had "sealed" documents for me. He said if i was at work he would need to have the head of HR or a supervisor witness and sign I received these documents. Or i could call (844) - 874-8625 at extension 406 and I did and spoke to Mr. Klein. He pulled my file and stated I had gotten a loan from The VIP Loan Shop and owed $1,025.00 but with interest and fees it was $3,000.00+ and he started to get abusive and berate me telling me I had sh*tty credit and had to get an online payday loan and blah blah. He then claimed when I got angry that i was intimidating him and he was recording the call and claimed I was being abusive and violent. I got another call from Richard Gabel at my place of business. My 23 year old niece also got a call just like I did initially from Richard Gable stating pretty much verbatim what was said to me. She was freaked out that they were calling for me on her personal cellphone. We are not sure how they got her number. Richard Gable had also spoke with my father and got abusive and rude with him. I asked this company for verification that this was indeed my debt including any paperwork that they had with my signature whether it be the real signature or electronic. This Vince Dezensio (sp) from Global United Arbitration claimed there never had been such paperwork. I told him i would discuss payment once I had gotten this paperwork. From prior complaints that I had found online I was suspicious of the legitimacy of this business. I will not just hand over money to a company who can't verify this is my debt.

Don't give them anything. Nothing. They are trying to trick you into sending them money. Depending on how long ago it was that you took out that loan it could be past the statute of limitations date also. As for the phone number, it still mystifies me on how they got a roomates number for me and I dont even live in the same state anymore. These people stop at nothing..and I mean nothing..to harrass and try to intimidate people into giving them money. They should be arrested for what they do to people period. It's stalking and threatening people with intimidation. Next time they call, tell them you would like their contact information before anything and you will have your attorney contact them. If its past the statute of limitations for collection on that loan in your state remind them of that also!

My mom received a call this morning, allegedly from the IRS. THey were looking for me, although I don't live there and threating an arrest warrant on me. It's Veteran's Day, so I don't think the IRS is open, but nevertheless, before noon, my HR dept forwarded a call to me.

The lady said she was a courier from a private service and she was coming out to my workplace tomorrow to serve me papers. The only number she provided was GUA or GLOBAL UNITED ARBITRATION...aka, BS!

Long story, short, they would reduce my debt (which I don;t owe) with a credit card. Things got nasty before I hung up! How can these people get away with this.

This man called my home today asking to know when my daughter would be home so an officer could deliver a summons..when I asked what it was for and that she doesn't live there he wouldn't give me any info just stating it's a sealed envelope and needed to know when she would be here to sign for it. I asked many times what it was for what company everything and he refused to tell me. I told him she didn't live here and he said I needed to get a hold of her and find a time to be here for signature. He called from a blocked number.

Beware of "Western Acquisition Group". I got the same voice message about "being served", etc.

I called them back because 1., I settled my debts and kept proof, and 2., the Statute of Limitations for my state has expired anyway, and I want these calls to STOP. The guy who answered handed me off to another guy w/ a NY sounding accent. This guy tried his best to confuse me, at one point tripping over his words and becoming illogical. I admit as bill collectors go it was pretty good, better than most. Once I figured out he was unreasonable and not listening to what I was saying, I gave up on the call and sent him proof of settlement, with instructions to cease and desist.

These guys obviously purchased the debt from someone else, who bought it from someone else, who bought it from someone else, way, way, back when it was still valid. Through some clerical error, or unethical practice (probably the latter) my debt was resold along with many others after being settled.

Every so often one of these pops up and I have no way of stopping it, except on a case by case basis. I'm so glad I kept everything: Settlement Offer, Release Letter, Credit Reports, Cancelled Checks, etc. For all of you out there who are in the process of settling debts, PLEASE keep good records, and plan on keeping them for life. Keep EVERYTHING, and VERY IMPORTANT, remember to black out your bank account numbers.. I'm so, so, glad that I did..

These bad debts never seem to fully go away, even AFTER they've gone away.

Shame on the debt collection industry. They know what they are doing is wrong.

I started getting harasssing calls at work Oct. 21,2013. I never called them. Than the calls started back up in July. I believe is was a Fosters & Associates & that if I didn't call them within 2 hours they would serve me at work. I didn't call them still. In Sept. I kept getting calls but it was from a Fisher & Fisher. I googled the number & it came up Fisher & Burns financial services in Santa Ana California. On Oct. 17 they told my general manager that they would be serving me at work that next Tuesday(21st) between 3-5. They still haven't served the papers. Today I got another call from a Berg & Associates at 323-536-1850 telling me that I needed to call in the next 2 hours or that they will serve me at work. I wish they would quit harassing me.

OMG the same exact thing happened to me. I told them they weren't allowed to call and harass employees as it was against the law and I would report them to our legal department. The guy said I had 2 days to call Berg & Associates with the same area code 323. He said they have been trying to serve me with papers. I didn't call them back and they have not served me with anything. If it was legit I would be served in person as that is what is required by law for a court summons. These people are sharks looking for bait... they aren't getting a bite out of me!

I wish a law would pass where these harrassing, stalking, manipulative collection agencies would be prosecuted for this along with heavy fines and punishable with prison time. I received two calls again this week on my roomates phone. After the original one I posted above in October, I haven't received any calls until this week. I never returned the calls obviously but still leaving threatening messages about check fraud and summoning me to court and the usual rant of scare tactics they use off their list of to do's when calling. I am not even sure its the same "agency" that called the last time I hung up in their faces. Probably a new one. I just wish they would quit already..how long does a dog keep barking at a dead raccoon already? Until something is done to ban this type of stalking it will continue. The account will just be sold and resold again and again until they can get someone who is uneducated about what they are doing to pay them. Its a very sad and deceitful practice as well as frustrating and scary to those who are easy targets and know nothing about the statute of limitations.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

I just got a call from Berg & Associates (323)451-5519 claiming I was being sued by kay jewelers for an account that I haven't used in over 10 years. They said they were working for a law firm in Phila, Pa but yet their office is located in los Angeles, Ca. Oh and when I asked him to mail me an official letter in mail, he said its all done by email and fax and that I would have to email him NY debit card info.

I was contacted by 1-716-332-4669 whom answered as Regional Acquisitions Group. I was informed that I owe money and that myself and/or my family is going to get hurt if I did not send them $3800.00 in cash by the end of the this week.

You cannot go to jail for an unpaid payday loan. This is a civil matter and not criminal. This means that they could sue you for the debt but they cannot jail you for it. The odds of being sued is very unlikely. Scam tip #1: No one is going to give you a heads up that you are going to be served a warrant. If people knew when the warrant was arriving, they simply would not be there to receive it. You would never get served at your place of employment.

I have the same problem as many do here. Question: Has anyone actually received the supposed court documentation they claim the state locator will serve you??

I have the same question

This is the second "company" calling me within the last month. I will admit I did inquire about a payday loan but did not get the money. When the person called yesterday she said she was needing to serve me and gave me the number 844-774-2282 and a claim # (which is funny what am I claiming-at least get your wording correct lol) she was calling me from a local area code. So when I told the girl at Midwest Claims that NO there was never a $500 deposit into my account on November 4th, 2012 and that I just so happen to work at the Bank where my accounts are and just give me a few minutes to pull them.... she tells me to just accept the papers and dispute it. SO I thought ohh ok I am going to call the local number back and of course it is a message with a man trying to sound like the "Bad Cop" role that said DO NOT LEAVE A MESSAGE.... HAHA so they just want you to think they are calling locally. This is ridiculous and I will be filing with my AG's office and the FTC and CFPB. This should be against the law.....

If you get a call about a debt that doesn't sound true, report it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers, and fraudsters. You can read about how the FTC Stopped an Abusive Debt Collection Operation that threatened many consumers by telling them their bank accounts would be closed, their wages garnished, they would face felony fraud charges, or they would be arrested if they failed to pay the phantom debts.

Berg & Associates in Los Angeles, CA 323-489-8397 is threatening me with criminal charges for a $300 credit debt that has grown into $4000 w late fees from 2010. They are sending letters that are intended to appear like a Summons issued by a Florida Court. Case Number 285-183-19FL. There are hundreds of complaints on Google about the harassment. They have called my Mother and brother telling them that they are going to issue a warrant for my arrest in 2 hours. if this has happened to you take 5 minutes to file a complaint with the California Attorney General and with the Federal Trade Commission

Getting harassing calls from a supposed arbitration group calling themselves Walburg and Associates. They state I wrote bad checks back in 2012 totaling 2500 dollars. The account had been closed for 6 years already in 2012. I contacted the bank and there were no checks presented to them ever. By me or anyone pretending to be me. This company told me if I paid up, they could stop me from being prosecuted in the county I live in. These criminals even obtained my Mothers home number and her cell number. Curious if anyone else at there has heard from "Walburg and Associates"?

I just called 855-754-1042 they have been leaving VM saying this is am important message from amser (sp?)this is a call from debt collector please call 855-754 - 1042! I put # in ignore list & still get call about every day! I finally called back & OF COURSE THEY ASKED FOR SOMEONE NAMED Niki Stallis Or ?? NOT EVEN CLOSE TO MY NAME yes they did say they would remove my # !! I sorta doubt it since this is the 4th different # they have used to call from & one was for sure a toll free number!! WHOEVER this Niki is or if there was a Niki was either a dead beat & didn't pay their bills or these spammers are BIG jerks!! Hoping I don't have to change my number because I got a recycled one?? grrrr,,,,!! Getting annoying ESPECIALLY since I OWE NO MAN ANYTHING!

I had to pull my credit report recently, it came back with over $8,000.00 in phantom utility and cable bill debts,not even in my name. I went through a week of panic stricken runaround, ran my phone minutes sky high over the limit on hold,without resolution. When I did get someone they pressured me to pay the bill, just to remove it off of the report. I refused, I called every single creditor on the list, not a single one could find an account in my name, or under my social. Of course I could not reach the credit repirting company at all. The free online report comes back as a redirect error message. Horrible. I went to my social security account online, and found my account blocked! Now I have to spend a day at social security to take off the freeze. I will probably have to hire an attorney.

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