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Phantom debts and fake collection notices

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Imagine getting an official-looking letter — with a seal, signed by a judge — that says you owe a lot of money for an unpaid payday loan. Awfully intimidating, right? Especially if it included your correct name, address, and maybe even your Social Security number.

In a new twist on an old scam, criminals are impersonating law firms, judges, and court officials. They send out scary letters and make threatening phone calls about phantom debts to try to convince people to send them money.

So, what should you do if you get one of these nastygrams? No matter how convincing a letter or phone call seems, check it out. Look up the real number for the government agency, office, or employee (yes, even judges) and get the real story. It’s likely to be a scam.

Be suspicious if anyone — no matter who they say they are — asks you to wire money, or load a rechargeable money card as a way to pay back the debt. There’s no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to send money that way.

Curious about other imposter scams? Check out some of our previous scams alerts. And if you haven’t already, sign up to get new scam alerts by email.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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Got emails and calls stating I owed some cash advance thing asked for bank acct where it was issued to want even mine says they going to press charges and had my employer and ss# I called the cops and was told it was a scam told my job what was going on just in case. "AMOUNT: $825.17 If we do not hear from you within 24 hours of this letter, we will be compelled to seek legal representation from our in-house attorney. We reserve the right to commence litigation for intent to commit wire fraud under the pretense of refusing to repay a debt committed to, by use of the internet. In addition we reserve the right to seek recovery for the balance due, as well as legal fees and any court cost incurred. ou can Email back to get the payment mode too. We will be forced to proceed legally against you and once it is processed the creditor has entire rights to inform your employer and your references regarding this issue and the law suit will be the next step which will be amounting to $5400.00 and will be totally levied upon you and that would be excluding your attorney charges.If you take care of this out of court then we will release the clearance certificate from the court and we will make sure that no one will contact you in future. Amount Outstanding $825.17 One Time Settlement offer Amount $355.00 only for today. Please let us know what your intention is by today itself so we can hold the case or else we will meet you in court house. Thanks for being our customer. -- Patricia Richmond, Legal Department, Cash Loans. Contact 1-803-343-9054 Ext. 129 but it's the same guy that answers every time.

Another scam number - I was getting calls from the 204 number but once Or blocked them I started getting calls from 302-241-0396...

Its alive in Kentucky as well, got same call from 214 # claiming bank fraud/ check fraud and that they will garnish wages, even contacted my mother in another state looking for me. I knew it was bogus, was easy to find the scam on here too. This happened 8/22/14. Can't wait for them to call again.

I had a call yesterday from Christian Johns, a private courier, who was supposed to deliver important documents to my place of employment or home today between the hours of 9 and 5. I asked him where his office was and his response was Kentucky. Well, I live in Kentucky. Ok, so he gave me a number to call and a case number. He said that he could transfer me to the group of attorneys if I wanted him to. I said that I would call them later. This first call came into my work. He called again on my cell phone after I left work. And he also called my parents' home and wanted to get in contact with me. I called the number and was told that it was for two payday loans that were from companies that I never heard of from 2012. The group of attorneys were wanting approximately $3,000 to settle the debt. The lady that I was talking to wanted me to borrow money from a friend or relative to take care of the debt since I told her that I did not have that kind of money. She said that the legal process had already started. She wanted me to give her a prepaid credit card number or a debit card number. I told her that I would speak to my husband. I did not call back.

Today, I received a call from a woman with the same script as the Christian Johns from yesterday. I have started letting my calls go to my voice mail if I do not recognize who is calling.

The number that they want me to call is 844-228-7943. FTC told me to contact Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and they told me to contact FTC. I just told them that I would handle it myself. I think if they call back, I will tell them to contact my attorney who is also a judge now. Who has the last laugh?!?! I may end up in front of him, but as least I will know that I do owe the money and it is not a scam.

I just got a call from these people as well 214-504-2986, they said that I bought a camera in 2006 and took a line of credit from Home Bank and that they were going to contact my employer for income verification. They just contacted my Mom in Dad in another state as well. How do I get them to stop calling?

I got a phone call from 214# claiming to collect a debt from my Mom. However, my mom past away long time ago. SPAM TEXAS SA

Why can't they find these people and prosecute them for harassment. Don't tell me they can't trace these numbers. I guarantee you if these people quit paying their phone bills, the phone company would find them and get their money. I'm tired of these scam calls. Went through a round of this about 3 years ago - now it's starting again. Calling house and cell phone. Calling our daughter trying to get info on me. TIRED of it. this can Ruin a person's character if they call the wrong people trying to get info on you. enough is enough. Who can we contact to stop this?!?!?!?!?

They called me from the number 214-504-2986 and left a message stating that I owed a debt for bank/check fraud that could lead to court proceedings or jail time? They claimed the amount was for $2,900 but they could settle for $1,000. I do not recall that debt, I see nothing on my credit report. I checked my state's court docket for my name and any debt, nothing. This is absolutely a scam. I spoke very nicely and clearly to the representative. The first time I called the lady was very brash, saying "Oh my God" under her breath when I asked for the court docket number. She claimed she was a litigator, and I asked her if she was an attorney and she said no she is a litigator. I then asked her for her what state she was licensed in and her Bar License number and she said, I'm just a litigator, I am speaking on behalf of the company and the debt... so I said, oh you mean a liaison? She said yes. I said, well I will wait for the "court docket" to appear in my mail and she said, Okay you will receive one. So if they are impersonating a court docket, then I will contact USPS for mail scam and authorities impersonation and fraud.

I called again and spoke to a different representative (with a nicer tone) and said that I spoke to my state Attorney general's office and that he suggested that I tell them to cease and desist any further phone calls to my contact number or any other contact they have on file. That if they continue, I will file a police report, I will block their number and report them to my phone company for harassment, I will file a scam report with the FTC, the Better Business Bureau and their Attorney General in Texas (it is a TX area code), in addition to my state's Attorney General's office. The young lady hung up the phone after I finished. We'll see if that worked. Don't be afraid to speak up about these people, even if you owe a debt, how they are going about it with impersonating authority, courts, etc. is plain out fraud

They started bombarding me today here in VA via my LAN line, not my cell phone. The message gave no reference to anything except "a lawsuit filed on my name" for blah, blah, blah. I called the number back, no one picked up. Assumed it was a scam and found this site. Thanks to all posters!!

No number came up when they called it was a + (plus) symbol that was it. No numbers at all. When I got the message that was left is how I got the actual number. Something about fraud was mentioned. I just looked up local court calendar to see if anything was filed. I just ignore them when they call.

A phone caller claimed there was a debt. We requested that they send information by mail. We figured a letter is physical evidence, and there are regulations about using the mail for fraud. We mailed back--it was unknown, and that was all.

Phone call from 678-593-2720 the Last 2 days Kevin Hart with GLC Financial Group has called my cell number and left a message for my son. States he has a case with his SSN and to call back. Then today the same number but a Eugene Mcclullins called and left call back number 844-368-9217. Thanks for bring this scam the attention. All the comments have been informational.

I've been receiving these calls for years. Asking for a Todd something. Thing is, I'm the only one ever to have my phone number.

how are you to able to to be the person to ever have that phone number?

Been getting phone calls from an unknown number then getting voicemail from the Judicial Enforcement Group saying that if I don't call them in 24 hours that I would be served with a summons. They leave the number 1-855-377-6771. I googled the number and found a lot of complaints about this being a scam, now they are calling my family members too.

18447830874 I got a call saying that I owe HSBC Housebank 2112.12. If I would pay 840.15 if would be taken off my credit report. To tell the truth I was scared but then I started to google scrams and when I came across this page I was happy. I was going to start paying them people money for nothing. Have anyone else get a call from that number?

I received 3 calls at home (didn't answer) and 2 on my cell phone with a message for husband about a curtesy call before being processed. Can't figure out number (470) 395-8762.... Ladies name was Karen smith and investigator is David Robinson .

I have had the same thing going on for months. Today (4-30-2019) it sounded like an actual person, but not sure that it wasn't prerecorded. The number was previously blocked on my phone and goes straight to voicemail. Same threats, but doesn't state a reason I'm "being served". (There is no reason I would be served for anything.) It came from 844-868-3479 and said to call David Robinson at 844-350-4150. The woman stated she was Charlotte, a courier with my local clerk's office. Also, she stated in an aggressive manner at the end of the call, "You HAVE been notified."
When making a report to the FTC, they end the recording before all the information can be given. What is the point of the do not call registry if I continue to get these calls?

I have had the same calls for the past 2 weeks with countless threatening voicemails. I got one just now that said they would be serving me at work and I needed to be available between 12-5 with identification and a supervisor. I finally called the number back only to get a voicemail of course. The number I was asked to call is David Robinson at 844-350-4150.

Every day I get a call from a recorded message threatening "Kevin" with legal action. I have had my phone number for more than 35 years, and no one named "Kevin" has ever lived here. Although the caller ID comes up as "anonymous," there are dire threats for not calling them back at 214-504-2986 before the end of the day. I'm not calling them back, but I wsish the FTC would do so.

I to just received call from unknown number, saying to call 214.504.2986 saying something about fraud and to call them by end of today or i will be served with court papers. What a scam!

Yep, got a call today on my vm from an unknown number stating that I had the end of business today to call 214-504-2986 by the end of the day or they would be contacting my employer about check fraud or bank fraud or something.

ATTENTION THE COMPANY GLOBAL PHONE NUMBER 214-504-2968 IS A SCAM.. THEY CALL FROM DALLAS NUMBERS AND DELEWARE NUMBERS BUT ARE A SCAM. THEY ARE NOT IN TEXAS THEY ARE RUN OUT OF 1401 peachtree st ATLANTA, GA THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING THEM NOW. FOR A FRAUD COMPANY. THE OWNERS NAME IS MARK WEST HE GOES BY JORDAN BELFORD THE PEOPLE WHO CALL YOU USE ALIASES AND THEY DONT EVEN HAVE A BUISSNESS LICENSE. SO PLEASE HAVE THEM SHUT DOWN

If anyone gets a phone call stating they are from Winn or Wynn Associates! And they say we are calling in regards to a bank debt from wells Fargo, go to the bank and talk to them. It could even be from another bank, it doesn't matter, do your investigation before you send money! I got a phone call from someone in the state I live in and told me will get served with some papers if I don't call this number and talk to them to resolve this problem! SO BE AWARE! They asked me if I had a visa or MasterCard to resolve the issue that day and I told them no! And they also tried telling me they were going to garnish my checks! SO PLEASE DONT FALL FOR IT I DIDNT, THEY HAVE ME A HUGE SCARE I HAVE THREE KIDS AND BILL TO PAY!

Hello. I recieved a phone call from 210-762-6836 earlier in the month from a Chase Johnson who was from Pre-Trial Intervention. He told me I owed a pay day loan from February 2013. The company name in which he said the loan from did not ring any bells. He stated that I owed $1200. I told him I did not take out any pay day loans at that time because I had just had opened a new bank account around that time and because I had issues in the past with payday loans. He told me that if I did not pay back the amount that he would contact the local authorities and have me arrested. He had all my personal information. I got scared and like an idiot gave up my debit card information. I asked multiple times for additional information regarding this issue and was giving very little information. Throughout the call he repeatedly stated that he would put out the warrant if I did not pay. As soon as I said I would pay the warrant was dropped. I told my fiance about what happened and he told me I had been scammed and that it is illegal for creditors to threaten jail time. They had already taken the money out of my bank account. I had to call my bank and inform them of what was going on. They cancelled my bank card and I had to file a claim. I filed a claim with Consumer Finance. They investigated and could not find any information regarding this company. I recieved a call from them today looking for another payment and I have not called them back. I am in the process now of trying to obtain an attorney. This has been a stressful ordeal. I wish I would have read this site before giving out my information

Yes, I'm getting these calls, too (again) and just got one a few minutes ago. The earliest comments on this message board are from July and today is Sept. 29...why are these idiots still out there operating and not in jail by now????

i guess the police have finally gotten enough calls that is this is being investigated...sad fact...as soon as they manage to shut one down, another one will crop up

So glad I looked this up first!! I have never committed any kind of crime...even though they had my name...I hope they go to the hell they are causing for people...the automated voice said I could hit 9 to speak to them, and that I had until the end of business today...is there anything that can be done? Like possibly calling our local police department?

My wife received a call from 214-504-2986 today in regards to a delinquent phone bill. She was freaked out when they threatened her about going to court. So glad she called me. I Googled the number and found the information on this page. The information on this page saved a great deal of heart-ache. I did call the company, got a name and threatened to submit a police report. Representative promptly discontinued the call. I did contact the phone company and they had no record of my wife having an account with them. Be mindful to always research sketchy emails, phone call or snail mail……

Has anyone gotten a call from 832-742-6940? It's a houston area number that my husband has been getting calls from for months now. We finally answered today and they said that he committed check fraud with a payday loan and had an affidavit that they were sending out if he didn't pay the balance. We called back asking for their information said they were API Fraud Department in houston, but they gave us a new jersey call back number 201-762-6856.

I just got a call on my cell from a blocked number, followed by a call at my work number, also from a blocked number, telling me that it was a courier service calling as a "courtesy" to let me speak with a creditor before they delivered "sealed legal documents".

When I spoke with the "creditor" she would not give me a company name, said something about bank fraud at a bank I have not done business with in years, and stated that a courier would be delivering "sealed legal documents" regarding "wage garnishments' to my place of employment.
I asked if there was a judgement against me, and was told no, they were trying to avoid a judgement and if i would just give them a credit or debit card number I wouldn't need to worry about it.
HA!

I requested verification of the debt be sent to my home address, and requested that I not be contacted on my business line again.

Fairly sure I'm not going to see any couriers, but it will be amusing to find out. :)

I was called by this number yesterday. They said I'm being accused of check fraud, that they were contacting my employer to send me a certified letter. It said I had until 5:00 the same day.
Two things red flagged me. First, they used my maiden name that I haven't used for the last 13 years. Second, I am very careful when it comes to checks being honored. Lastly, the deadline was 5:00 the same day.
I decided to do research because I've been hearing about scams. I'm glad I looked into it!!!

Just got a call from 214-504-2986 and they left a voicemail about check fraud etc...however the name was mumbled. So when I called the number back a lady asked me if I was calling from Georgia and when I said yes she said just to disregard the call.. total scam! I don't have any loans out and do not use checks!

I've been getting these calls the past few weeks. So yesterday I figured fair was fair. I called them back, PUSHED 0 AT THE RECORDING TO GET A HUMAN, and told them that I know they're low-life scammers and to remove me from their system. Did that 31 times. I also blocked their number so they couldn't call back. Then I blocked the other number they tried calling back from. They can't call my cell anymore and if they do, that number will be blocked too. And if I get another call at work, they're getting round 2. I have unlimited calling and a desk job where I can literally just hit redial all day. Next time they harass me, they're getting at least one of their lines tied up for 4 hours minimum. While they're dealing with my calls, that will prevent them from harassing anyone else. At least on 1 line. Sometime tells me they would prefer to have that time be more productive than a pissed off person who won't quit calling.

HAHA! I love this... great idea!

Got the call from 214-504-2986 stating bank and check fraud. They didn't even ask for me. I couldn't understand who they were asking for.

Just received an automated phone call from the number 214-504-2986,saying someone I once knew needed to contact them by the end of the day on a credit card fraud & bogus check fraud and they were going to contact my employer. I haven't seen that person on 30 yrs and couldn't tell anyone where to find them.. Glad I found this site, it sure does help. I erased the message..

I have received two calls from this phone number....It is supposedly from a guy named Lucas Johns. Well, I will be repoting this to the FTC. They are saying that I am involved in a bank and check fraud case and need the number to my employer so that court papers can be served on me. Well, i called them back and was sent to voicemail after listening to horrible elevator music. I hope they call me back, because this most likely KID is going to get an ear full!

Delaware Associations. JESSE STONE or a Bob Rice. Scammers! However they gad my checking number so i have to close my acct tommorrow. Something about a payday loan that was owed. I didn't pay anything. He says a sheriff will come and arrest me. I have all my documentation now I'm ready for him to call me again.

I received a voicemail from a recording from 2145042986
Saying that I've beeb involved in a check or bank fraud & I had the end of business to contact them they were going to be calling my employer to verify information to set a court date. When I called back it said that Lucas Johns was not available to take my call. Then I googled the number & to my relief (even though I knew it had to be a mistake) the number is listed as a scam. Crazy

Been getting frequent and increasingly threatening robocalls to the voicemail on my cellphone from a company claiming to be PRM. They claim to be the legal outsourcing department. They contain no mini Miranda on them and while the call comes in from a local number they demand you call 8442165647 by the end of the day. Sometimes they will call twice a day other times they will wait a few days before they call. A quick search of this phone number reveals they're identified as a scam company and that essentially means no attorney wants to take my case, because well really what are the odds theyll pay when you win. I don't even care about the money I Just want them to leave me alone. I read a comment from one person who even said they sent her a fake warrant for her arrest. These people need to be stopped! It's to the point now where I can't even answer my phone anymore. I'm constantly stressing don't sleep well and panic everytime I see they're number on my caller id. Someone needs to do something about these people.

Western NY here. Same as all the above. They were trying to collect on an old debt that was paid off some years ago. They also used the bad check line too. Which one is it? lol. They need to be stopped!

Just got home to check vm and they had left a message stating that allegations for check and bank fraud had been bought against me and if I did not return their call by the close of business today, they would be contacting my employer with paperwork. What I scam.

Same as many others on here! Called family members saying the same thing! I figured it was a scam, but am very glad that this website is available for confirmation. Is there anyway to report them to authorities?

They've been calling MY cell phone non stop, asking for my mother, whom recently died stating allegations for check and bank fraud had been bought against her. It's been torturer, since I was her sole caregiver till the end. They are rude, and I wish I could make it stop. Unfortunately, the calls come in "unavailable". Anyone know how to make them stop? I finally talked to someone there a week ago and informed them she died and it was difficult getting calls asking for her. They told me they would remove the number, but got two calls today alone.

I have gotten 2 of these auto calls now asking for my father, who passed away 4 years ago! This auto call claims he owes money from some check fraud & threatens court appearances. I have returned the calls & left messages both times when ive been called. There is a name on the voicemail "Lewis Clark". Nobody ever calls back and now the auto calls have started on my mothers home phone. This needs to stop! I don't need irritating calls of this nature reminding me my father is no longer here!

Charleston SC on this end. I received the same call last week and just now. Asking for my brother. He has been in prison for 8 yrs now. I called them and demanded a call back or i will contact my attorney. LOL. Big scam for sure

I have been getting the same calls.. Really tired of it.. It is an automated call saying the same things... Bank/or check fraud. Said they are going to call employer..Blah, blah, blah. SCAM... Just wish I knew how to stop these calls and maybe report them.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0259-robocalls
According to this site, HANG UP! Don't speak to robocalls. They will just lead to more robocalls possibly!

That's right. The best thing is to hang up the phone. If you press any number you are confirming that the number they have is a good number. Pressing anything or even talking to them might in fact increase the calls.

 

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