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Is that debt collector for real?

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It’s stressful enough getting calls from debt collectors for bills you actually owe. But if you’ve ever been harassed and threatened for debts you’ve never even heard about, let alone accrued, it can be downright harrowing – and quite possibly illegal.

Today, the FTC announced that a U.S. district court has temporarily halted a Georgia-based operation from using deception and threats to collect millions in phantom payday loan “debts.”  The FTC says Williams, Scott & Associates and company president John Williams lied and threatened people to pay on debts they didn’t owe – or debts the company didn’t have the authority to collect.

According to the FTC, the debt collectors claimed to be federal and state agents, investigators, or members of a government fraud task force, or they pretended to be with a law firm.  They falsely told consumers their driver’s licenses would be revoked and that they faced immediate arrest and imprisonment if they didn’t pay up.  How did the debt collectors even know to contact those consumers?  The FTC says many of the people had inquired about a payday loan online at one time and submitted contact information, which the company later got its hands on.  The case is pending in federal court in Atlanta.

Don’t get intimidated by a bullying bill collector – real or fake.  Any debt collector impersonating a law enforcement officer or threatening you with immediate arrest if you don’t pay up is violating federal law.

If you think a caller may be a fake debt collector:

  • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell the caller you won’t discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice." If the caller refuses, don’t pay.
  • Put your request in writing. If you have the caller’s address, send a letter demanding that the caller stop contacting you, and keep a copy for your files. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires any debt collector to stop calling if you ask them to in writing.
  • Don’t give or confirm with the caller any personal, financial, or other sensitive information. Fake debt collectors, and other scammers, can use your information to commit identity theft and other crimes.
  • Contact your creditor.  If a debt is legitimate – but you think the collector isn’t – contact your creditor.  Tell them about the suspicious call and ask who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.
  • Report the call. File a complaint with the FTC and your state Attorney General's office with information about suspicious callers. Many states have their own debt collection laws in addition to the federal FDCPA.

Learn more about protecting yourself from fake debt collectors and about your rights if you actually are facing debt collection.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I received a call from 888-512-5897 A recording says it is "David Jenkins" from Process Mediation, regarding possible litigation if I don't respond within 48 hrs. First of all, I don't owe anyone that is delinquent, second a lawsuit would be proceeded by a letter of demand for payment before it went to court. SCAMMERS!!!!

I got this exact same phone call Monday 7/14/14.

My husband got this same call and they had all his info and wanted us to pay a credit card debt that i have prrof was paid.... Needless to say he gave them our debit card info which i have now called the bank and stopped the cards... Is this really happeneing??

Is this for real??? We got the same call about an old credit card that we paid off but they r saying we owe money on and if nt paid they will pursue legal action and take us to court... I dont want to go to court if its real but if its fake i dont want to pay it... Help!!

I got this same nonsense as well. Glad to hear others are getting it and trashing it. I'll do the same. Bunch of low lifes.

Yes, this is totally fake. there is no need to worry. just report them.

I have received this same exact call twice first time on 7/15 saying I had 48rs to respond or a warrant will be issued number came from New Hampshire. Second call came this morning 7/23 from Delaware same recording same guy same 48hr. Threat... its a scam do not call back. They want your info. Dont do it

I got the exact call. It came at 10:30pm. My husband got the same call right before I did. I even got a copy of the arrest warrant in my email.

I had the loan company rip me off 500.00 from prepaid vanilla cards 250.00 for a repayment assurance then 300.00 for insurance, after I paid I still didn't get the loan promised, then I ask for cancelation or refund. The loan guy(With an Indian Accent) said I must pay 99.00 to cancel. Later I received an email with an arrest warrant.

I have gotten the exact same call all week. Terrible!

I received a call from this number as well today and they had my address, social security number and my pertinent information that I don't give out to anyone. This is creepy, I called them back thinking they were a true company with a case number. DO NOT CALL THAT NUMBER!!! Scam!!

I received a call today from "Process Mediation" and spoke to Mary. The telephone number was 203-307-1160. They told me there was lien against me from Bank of America. I asked for this in writing and the lady got offensive. She was rude anyway. DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ANY INFORMATION. My dad is an attorney and he said if it was legit, I would get something in writing. Tell all of your parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and families about this. It would be terrible for an older person to think it was real and give them information.

I received a call today from 214-504-2986 saying that I needed to call by close of business today for them not to put a warrant our when I called back they had no record of my name but wanted my SS# when I refused to give them that information they became irate and started threatening me

Just received a call from 202 506 8649 (stating his name was John Miller, IRS Agent #1006748) telling me the IRS was in the process of filing a lawsuit against me and my husband. I started asking more questions as to why and what for, he just kept threatening me, asking me numerous times if I had a lawyer. When I asked him if I could possibly speak to someone else who spoke clearer English, being that we have never had a problem with the IRS, he hung up on me. I hope these people go straight to HELL for the anguish I have to believe they are causing people!

I just received a call from a man claiming to be with the Department of Legal Services, and he was threatening to ruin my credit if I didn't repay a "payday loan" through Ace Cash Loan that he claims I was the co-guarantor. When I asked him for paperwork and for his business address he would not provide it. I contacted Ace Cash Loan and they did not have not any debt in my name. I also contacted the Better Business Bureau and they did not have any information on this agency. The man claimed to have an office in Round Rock, Texas.

I got a call today from the number 425-298-3923. I was told to call Richard Fellman within 24 hours are there will be a legal matter filed against me. I did not respond because if you deliver that type of message with a recording it is not legal. Legal papers has to be filed in the proper way. So please do not respond to this number or any other number.

I received a call from 202-2417431 pretendign to be from the IRS and threatening me with jail unless I paid 23400 dollars inmediately. They wanted me to go to CVS and get the cash. When I became suspicious and refused, saying that I would go personally to the IRS to check whether I had any outstanding taxes (not to may knowledge), the guy became irate. Then I got a call from "911" same voice, and when I said I was on my way to the IRS, he was rude and hung up. Please stop these scammers!!!

I received a call from a debt collector for which this debt is like 5 to 4 years past the statutes of limitations. I always keep my paper work & you wonder which of the 4 to 6 agencies are legit agencies. Well first thing I know I needed to do is to send them written correspondence requesting them to cease & desist any & all communication. Then if I felt they were really real requesting other information for verification is a smart & proper thing to do. For some reason they would not give me their address. I called back several times trying to get an address & a dial tone was all I got. Then they want to say you will be prosecuted for fraud, though you can't fraud a collection agency. So the original creditor would be the fraud prosecutor. I still need the full name & address of these people just to file a report. Now I am laughing because they are still trying. With some determination I will find out the information I need (it's out there) & definitely they will be reported. Commen sense.

I get phone calls from strange phone numbers and I never answer them, but today I received an email from Mark Smith of acs Legal group: in the subject line:RE: ACCOUNT NUMBER -ACS-26952, SUBJECT - LAWSUIT
and the email said I was being investigated for fraud and I need to respond in 48 hours, or I would be in violation of federal law. These guys are unbelievable!

That is the same email letter I got last night... It said I owed 968.00 it also had three charges they were charging me with if I didn't respond within 48 hours. What Meanies!!!!!

I have received 3 calls from 202 506 8649 today how annoying . Remember the IRS will have a 1 800 number if they did contact you, which they do by MAIL FIRST.
Another number with a New york area code was trying a scam last week saying my $10,000 loan was approved. I wonder if its the same network of scammers .


Got a call today from 315-636-5282 saying that they are from the Federal Government of United States, Criminal Investigation Unit and that there is some violation that needed to be resolved. Asked for info but we didn't give them any. When asked why they didn't send official letters they said, they sent them but they were non-deliverable?
We don't have any violations.
Heavy asian accent.

I get calls every week from A Chief executive officer Alfred Reed and he tells me that he has been working on my case and that I have commited Fraud by Deception I have paid money to him with a Money pak.
I need someone to respond or please take a look at all these people with all this deseption I have no more money please lord make it stop.

Do not send these scammers anymore money. I received a call yesterday from 202-241-4952 saying he was an private investigator with the IRS saying that I committed tax fraud and would be arrested in 2 hours. I laughed and said that to send them.'ll be waiting. He said you think it's funny. I said yes and that I haven't received any written notification from the IRS. He said that he was going to look over my case and call back in a couple of hours. I said, go ahead and do not call me again. Have not heard from him so far and really don't expect to. I read about various scams last year on

Hey I just recently got scammed by that same jerk Alfred Reed, Indian accent if I'm not mistaken. I to paid him money but before giving him more money I found out it was a scam. I contacted 3 different police departments, the federal claims court, irs and fbi to report this guy. I hope some type of justice is done and these bottom feeders are caught.

Just received 2 calls from 202-506-9882 claiming to be IRS and threatening legal allegations if call is disregarded. Reported it as scam to IRS & FTC.

i got a total of 4 phone calls from the same number, 2 on my home number and 2 on my cell number. all within a 5 hour time line. they called the home phone first, then 5 minutes later, the cell phone. i didn't catch the name of the person calling. but the number is the same. 832-742-7937. they called from that number and wanted me to call 802 number.

My 16 yr old just got a call from 213-337-8678, an Indian man told her she was being sued by the us treasury and to call back and ask for Chris Evens. My daughter just started her job and hasn't even filed taxes yet! These people must be stopped

I received a call from a Private number looking for my wife (he had her name). He stated he was a process server and that she was very hard to contact, and he had a sealed file regarding criminal activity. He wanted her to call Robert Pierce at 202-689-9818 to deal with the issue. I called and he stated she had written a fraudulent check in San Diego from the Union Bank of California. He stated it was over $1000 which made it a felony. I told him to run it through the Marshals office then he started putting on the pressure. He hung up and ten minutes later we received a call (this guy trying to disguise his voice) stating he was from the courts and he was sending the sheriff out out to "collect my wife." I called the number back and strangely enough it was from the municipal courts, but the system had no records of my wife. These people will try anything.

I get calls all the time and it is so frustrating. They call relatives and work and the calls come from all over. I usually check the phone number and do research. I refuse to call them back no matter how annoying it can become. This type of crime is increasing every day. I report the information to the BBB and also the local authorities.

I have recieved calls from 214-810-7125 stating I owe money and that I will be seeing a sheriff at my home or place of business for fraud, obtaining money by false pretenses and money wire fraud. I informed them that only deposits I have direct deposit are my payroll deposits and my other check deposits are for child support. They refused to give me contact information for the company I supposedly received money from and an amount. I asked them if they had a warrant for my arrest, then what bank information did they have on file for me. They wouldnt give any information. At that point I informed them that I worked for the sheriff's department (which I dont)and that my best friends husband is a deputy with our sheriffs department. My best friends husband, when I explained the call I received, ran my info and said I came back clean (to make me feel better) and he informed me that its a scam to get you scared into sending them money through your bank account. Once they have your bank information, they clean your account out. Why cant people make money the right way by actually getting a legit job and earning it. I live paycheck to paycheck and could not afford for someone to scam me.

i rec'd a harrassing call today too, and so did my employer. This kevin said i was embezzeling money and theft by deception, that I too had a payday loan that i defaulted on. which is not the case. the number is 727-231-1572. they say they are coming to my work tomorrow and surround my desk. they are threatening my coworkers too. I put in complaints so i hope it stops soon.. i had to cancel my bank acct too.. they even had all the info, my ssn drivers license number..its crazy...please help

We had a voice mail from "Mark Winter from the IRS telling my wife to call him back the very second you receive this message... blah blah blah...because of a tax deficiency. If you or your attorney of record does not call back you will have serious legal issues (all in such a heavy Hindu accent that it's hard to understand). If you do not call back right away all I can do is wish you a good luck as the situation unfolds on you". The number he gave was 202-506-9240. This is such a load of s**t but unfortunately people fall for this. I'm glad to see others of you putting this out there to warn the public. As a CPA I know that's not how the IRS works. They always write numerous letters first and in 30 years I've never seen them initiate contact by phone. So don't fall for it!

Richard Boyce SCAMMER emailing fake payday loan scam threats from richard posing as an attorney in California. There is no attorney by that name licensed to practice law in California according to the California State Bar.

Here's the scam email - scary bc he has my real social and a real former employer name.

Attention, this is last and final chance you.
This Legal Proceedings issued on your Docket Number with one of Cash Advance Inc. Company in order to notify you that after making calls to you on your phone number we were not able to get hold of you. So the accounts department of Cash Advance has decided to mark this case as a flat refusal and press legal charges against you.

Amount Outstanding $740.00
We have sent you this warning notification about legal proceedings on March 8, 2014 but you failed to respond on time now it’s high time if you failed to respond in next 4 HOURS we will register this case in court. Consider this as a final warning. And we will be Emailing/ Fax this issue to your current employer to make sure they take strict against you. Your salary wages will be garnished.
Do revert back if you want to get rid of these legal consequences and make a payment arrangement today or else we would be proceeding legally against you.
And we apologies that this notification will also sent to your current employer. The opportunity to take care of this voluntary is quickly coming to an end. We would hate for you to lose the option of resolving this before it goes to the next step which is a Lawsuit against you, but to do so you must take immediate action.
You 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 $6300.00 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.
Please let us know what your intention is by today itself so we can hold the case or else we will submit the paper work to your local county sheriff department and you will be served by court summons at your door step.
Note : This notice is provided to you on behalf of Cash Advance Inc. and its parent company , and their respective family of companies including Cash Advance, its parent company, Cash America International, Inc., and all of their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, (hereafter collectively referred to as the “Cash Advance Related Companies,” “we,” “our,” or “us”). The Cash Advance Related Companies include, but are not limited to: Cash Advance, Cash America International, Inc., and all of their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, including those that operate under the trade names Cash Advance, 100 Day Loan, Net loan USA, Fax free Cash, Payday one, Sonic Cash, Money tree, Egg loans, Check cash Loan, Quick Payday, Personal Cash Advance, Rapid Cash, Sonic Payday, Speedy Cash, My Cash Now, National Payday, Paycheck Today, Payday OK, Cash Central Loans, Cash Net 500,CashNet USA, Allied Cash, Super Pawn, Check into Cash, Check Smart, Ezmoney Cash America Net, Cash America, Cash America Pawn, Cash land, Super Pawn, Cash America Payday Advance, or any company-owned Mr. Payroll locations. “You” or “Your” means you as a participant in or as a user of the products and/or services offered by a Cash Advance Related Company.
By electronically signing this Loan Agreement by clicking the "I AGREE" button below, you are confirming that you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the Consent and that you have downloaded or printed a copy of this Consent for your records.


You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

I got a call like this today so did my employer.. The address provided by the company is fake and no attorney with the name give exists

I received the exact same email today but from a John Cruz from American Legal Support Services but no attorney in California by that name nor any links to the case # provided

a got a similar email written in the same format only from a different guy. if you agree to it they want you to pay thru geendot money pak. its a scam

WOW!! I received this same email today except it was from a Steve Jackson from Houston Texas claiming to be from a Williams Law firm. I am so glad I Researched this.

I just received this exact email, from a Richard Parker. I'm in Canada, and they included a Canadian mailing address at the end. I checked the address and it matches the corporate address for Cash Money, whom I have never borrowed money from.

I got the exact email except mine was a Steve Crawford claiming he worked for Hoffman Law Firm in Chicago and he wanted me to wire him the payment! The phone number he gave was 312-757-2520

I received the very same worded email, even down to dates and amount owed. But with a different attorney name and collection company.

Received the same email from a Katherine grainger. I repeated asked for her company's contact name and number she finally replied with. No number, address, and grammatical errors.

This is a Speedy Cash and if you want want resolve this case outside of court so you have to resolve this case over the emails.

I got this exact same email today but mine was from a Kevin Barnett's but everything else was exactly the same except my amount owing was $786.53. It doesn't have an address or phone number I can call him. Is this a scam because I don't remember ever getting a payday loan with speedy cash.

I received a call on Friday advising that I had committed bank fraud and they were going to serve an arrest warrant on my job. He said his name is Douglas of Advanced Mediation Solutions. His number is 972-435-0004. He would not give me any information. I told him that I had contacted several agencies like FTC and FBI due to receiving these calls every day. He told me "well the information is being sent to your HR dept as we speak, so you can hang up and call the FBI."

Received a call from 855-969-8599 stating that this was a final notice for process of service scheduled for Thursday morning. Left the number 855-721-1113. No business name, no name of the caller, nothing that seemed legit. I am sick of this stuff!

Ok so these bottom feeders don't know when to leave me alone. They are calling my work phone, they called my husband and mother in law to let them know that the sheriffs officers are coming to my house for check/bank fraud and if I pay $1000 now they won't take me to court and I won't have to pay the $4300 at court. They are saying about payday loans which I never even heard of. My office has been blocking these phone #s. Also every one I check on and they all come up either invalid phone# and High level of Scam Activity. So if you see these phone #s report to the Better Business and Federal Trade Commission. These people need to be stopped!!


Got a call today and 7/15-robocall saying my firstname and saying they were trying to verify my employment for litigation on check or bank fraud. I'm in Iowa. The callback number they gave was 214-504-2986 or Dallas, TX. I have reported this on the FTC complaint site as #54979532

Yesterday I received email from James Anderson for payment past due that he's a Resolving Officer, I got loan from cash net USA and if I don't replay back in 5 days that I'm going to court and have to pay $4203.86 and need my replay back to this email and give him my payment information. I replayed back telling him I never had loan and I talked to my police dept about you, he didn't care I received another email from him saying he's waiting for my payment information. Crazy I never got loan out I called twice to cash net USA and they don't have account on me. They was nice and apologize and gave me information on what steps to take


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