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FTC to abusive debt collectors: You’re outta business!

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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.

That’s an example of the type of calls Pinnacle Payment Services, LLC, made in an attempt to pressure people into paying phantom debts — debts they didn’t owe. In its October 2013 complaint, the FTC alleged that Pinnacle used an assortment of fictitious business names that implied an affiliation with a law firm or a law enforcement agency. Pinnacle threatened many consumers by telling them their bank accounts would be closed, their wages garnished, that they’d face felony fraud charges, or would be arrested if they failed to pay the supposed debts.

The FTC said enough is enough, and a judge agreed. Pinnacle and its principals are now permanently banned from the debt collection industry. That means they can’t help anyone else engage in debt collection, or sell, offer for sale, promote or market any information related to debt collection. The court order also imposes a judgment of more than $9 million, which represents the total consumer injury caused by their illegal practices.

If you get a call about a debt that doesn’t ring true, report it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers, and fraudsters. The FTC’s aggressive law enforcement efforts put the bad guys out of business, and our vigorous consumer education campaigns empower people just like you to make well-informed buying decisions and recognize frauds and scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

CALLED NCS FOR THEIR ADDRESS AND THE GUY GOT UPSET WITH ME AND HUNG UP IN MY FACE. CALLED THE MEYERS GROUP FIR THEIR ADDRESS AND THE GUY TOLD ME THAT THEYRE NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE THAT INFORMATION OUT OVER THE PHONE. SO IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WANT ME TO PAY YOU BUT YOU CAN'T GIVE ME THE ADDRESS TO YOUR OFFICE. WHY ALL OF THE ATTITUDE WHEN I SIMPLY ASKED YOU FOR ADDRESS? NCS CALLED HUMAN RESOURCE ON MY JOB BUT REFUSED TO GIVE ME THEIR ADDRESS WHEN I CALLED BACK AND HUNG UP IN MY FACE....GO FIGURE!

Another debt collector you do NOT need to give monies to is Portfolio Recovery. They will call and call and call from various numbers from various locations. I actually spoke to them once and I was harassed and yelled at. They have been harassing me for almost 8 years over debt I do not owe. There are formal letters you can find online (I found one on my state's website) that state you deny the debt they say you owe, and that you demand proof the debt is valid, and to stop contacting you. I sent one and a month later I got a letter saying my account was closed. They are bottom feeder debt collectors that try to intimidate you to pay debts that are not valid.

You are correct. If you want the collector to stop calling, you have to write them a letter telling them to stop calling you immediately. Send the letter by Certified Mail and ask for a “return receipt.” The law says he must stop calling you when he gets your request in writing. This, however, will not get rid of the debt. Watch this video and learn more about Dealing with Debt Collectors.

Got this email from my church

Hi xxx,

We got a call from Justin from Pinnacle Mediation Co. He was looking for you and left this message:

Case# 785-1024610 He mentioned something about a civil suit? He has asking to speak with our human resources? He said please call him back at 678-894-1253

This is good, but not good enough. I had collector that came to me with the Suffolk County Sheriff's emblem on the envelope and the "Warrant" letter (for a medical bill of emergency surgery from the lawyer who was the brother of one of the surgeons). I was going through so much personal stuff at the time that I needed the SCPD's help, after my surgery recovery, with an abusive husband - and you know what they said to me? If there were any warrants out for my arrest, they would have to lock ME up! So, I had to keep taking the abuse and had no one to turn to. That's okay. I am very much used to the abuse, threats, bullying now and it is no big deal - in fact, I don't know what to do with myself when there is no abuse. Kids got used to being abused and bullied by him, too.
The collector refused small payments. They refused to let me contact them with tricks of voice messages to call different telephone numbers that were never manned. We all suffered so these so called legal bill collectors can play collection agency games. Some of them deserve jail.

214-504-2986. Stated I would be charged with check & bank fraud if I didn't return the call today. I called the local FBI and they said to report it here.

Midland Credit Management sending mail threatening to send & use SS# to creditors against me.Is that legal?

How would you feel if a caller kept calling you then all of a sudden the call is stating a construction company on the same no. that has been calling all the time. I freak out. I answered the call. I was told I owed a debt! I ask what debt. They refused unless I give them information. I told them to screw off and that they are now in trouble with the law for utilizing a spoofing software just to even collect the debt. I harassed them for about and hour. I think they hate me. Oh Well!

Its absolutely amazing how citizens are protected by the FTC. I read your post and I found it very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

They now changed their names to the following: Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, The Cooper Mediation Firm, Canyon Creek LLC, Delray Capital and Global Solutions. Please put a stop to the harassing calls. They are sending out false debt bills with all these names in correspondence -- (855) 463-8828

I have found more information about "The Cooper Mediation Firm" the owner, location, and other assumed names. I can tell you that they are not located in dallas, Texas. Jerry Verhagen is connected to Delray Capital, The Cooper Mediation Firm, and Rothstien Acquisition Firm. Delray lost their bond in Texas. The Texas Bar and General Attorney Office could not verify the businesses. Jerry Verhagen is located in New York city under the Rothstien Acquisition Firm. Also they are networked with "Capital Resource Consultants LLC" Beware of this person and scam.

The Cooper Mediation Firm will not confirm mailing address the when searching online the address is a restaurant in the town of North Tonawanda NY

I got a call like this. Complete bullying gorilla tactics. They said they were sending someone to an address that I only lived at for less than a week (psycho roomate back in my 20's) & I haven't had that address for more than 20+ yrs nor lived in that state. I've lived in 2 places since, 17 yrs & going on 8yrs. Long story short I knew it was all bs & highly illegal for them to do that so I told them good luck with that & do what they had to do & I hung up the phone. Keep up the good work FTC.

1-678-551-7826 keeps calling about collecting money from me in order to avoid warrant being issued for my arrest. Claims to be GR & Associates out of Georgia. SCAMMERS!

I got a call from a lady threaten me with charges and jail time for a loan that's been paid. She told me to call this number (855)329-3737 and give them my address so they can serve me with a warrant. She couldn't give me no details as to what this is about.

If you ask them in writing, the debt collector has to provide verification of the debt in wirting. The article Fake Debt Collectors provides tips to help you handle calls like the one you describe

USR Solutions LLC...called from a number that was restricted..but left this number for us to call back 214-613-0424 and the name he left was Robert Loven,said that I owed a debt of over 750.00 and that i had 2 civil cases pending against me for check fraud and bank fraud...because i had took out a payday loan over 2 yrs ago and never paid it. I did take out a couple of payday loans but i paid them off. but my aunt said it was a scam, because someone called her and said the same thing and she ,so she called the number back and questioned him to death he became angry and started saying all kinds of nasty things to her...but she just laughed at him. and told him she was going to report him...he hung up on her. i had my number changed ...but i will not fall for this kinda crap again...

This same guy called me today. I told him to send me some thing in writing then hung up.

I have received phone calls days in a row from a woman who gives her name which I believe is fictitious. She called with an indignant voice, didn't identify anything else and just left a message with a "file number" and said that people were coming to my home address and work address if in 24-48 hours if I didn't reply.

Being that I am newly widowed a little over one year, A LOT has happened right after my husband's unexpected passing. I lost my car, my job, and then my home. It took a long time for me to be able to at least have a regular income because my unemployment ceased shortly after it took a long time for my state of residence to process my initial claim! I was almost in tears because I felt like I'm finally getting to take those baby steps to get my life back on track and now I'm getting voicemail messages like this one and NUMEROUS calls every day from unknown numbers. What can I do?

Robert Woods 561-235-7900, this person calls me and threatens that I'm going to be sued for a payday loan that I have never had. SOMEONE needs to stop these people. I would love to assist in helping to do that.

855 202 9188

Called and left me a threatening voice mail over a payday loan I do not believe belongs to me. Said she had papers in front of her to file in district court and I would be charged with bank fraud, etc. I did call them back and asked for a debt validation letter. He told me they didn't have to provide one because they were "attorneys." I then asked for a company name, three different times, and all I got was Regional. They even called my parents and left a voicemail telling them to get in contact with me because I was going to jail.

im so glad to see this information. I have been harassed with the same calls and the language is verbatim. I was just scammed out of 1,850.00 and he is still asking for more, but I got a surprise when he calls again.

I have received several calls from 855-323-7424. Well, actually their number is blocked until they leave this number in the message to call them back. The man today claims to be Don Sherry with Morgan Harris Law Firm & stated that he has papers in a civil case to file against me if I do not call them back IMMEDIATELY. I have done my share of investigating this number on the internet. I cannot find this law firm and all message boards say the callers with this phone number are scammers. That is kind of easy to believe b/c a few calls were initally made by women and now they have a man calling to threaten me. I have filed a complaint now through the FTC and I hope something is done to stop these predators.

CPHO

a few seconds ago

I got this message call today twice that I am in an IRS criminal offense from a JASON BRAVO Indian Accent stating that he is from the criminal investigation bureau of (IRS). If I don't call them back I will be arrested Im not calling either. He continued to say that I was being charged with various federal crimes that I was clueless about.
Telephone number: 1281-936-9256 get them.

Caller: Claims they from criminal Investigation Bureau in IRS

Call Type: Telemarke

Caller: Claims they from criminal Investigation Bureau in IRS

Call Type: Telemarketer

I got a call from this number and the Guy said he was Jason Bravo a senior offcer from crime investigation unit with the IRS....he stated that he was reading me an afidavid an I would be arrested shortly. He continued to say that was being charged with various federal crimes that I was clueless about.

I have reported these crooks to the do not call complaint to the FTC to the consumer protection agency I have logged and reported at least 20 phone calls of abuse. Since I have so much proof over the last two years of being abused by these cracks why don't I get a portion of the settlement? My do not call reports hello should net me at least $10,000 per abusive call?

I have been getting a call that they are a pre trial
company and they have a case against me I do not owe anyone any money they keep calling I Have been already been scammed do not fall for it Just hang up or block the number.

I received a call from 612-354-4053. This is an automated call claiming they are from a legal processing and summons division. In which they do not state the company they are calling from neither the company they are calling for. They are asking for a call back to verify a current address and business address. The voice mail states that I have 2 fraudulent charges against me and using my name and social security number. Message also states that non compliance is forfeiting rights to take care of matter outside of court in which the client is willing to settle outside of court. They state that this is the third and final attempt good luck in court.

When I called back, I advised that I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General and they hang up but continue to call me. I again called them back and advised that I was filing a complaint with the FBI and the guy "Bryan Black" told me he was going to block my number. I asked them to stopped calling and they said they would not stop calling. I advised that I would block their number and was told that I could block this number but they would just call from other numbers and that they had offices in 32 states. This is harassment and I want it to stop immediately.

I have a collection account for a payday loan. Its through enhanced acq but I can't find any info for them other then the address to the ups store someone else posted. Its like they don't exist. I am trying to improve my credit but have decided not to mess with this one because it doesn't seem a legitimate collection agency. I don't know if I should dispute this debt and possibly rattle the bees nest or leave it alone. I'm definitely not sending my info or money to a ups store. I want this off my credit report but I don't know it that is possible since these people do not seem like a legitimate collection agency.

I keep getting calls from several numbers & different states...some robo calls some human..male/female..claiming I will be arrested for a online loan default...wont send proof just keep calling me with threats..Capital Harris Miller & Associates...Im sick of these threats and have filed a complaint with the FTC. Please make them stop...

People call claiming to be collecting on a payday loan issued by canyon creek now for a loan issued back in September of 2012 (when it was issued back in august of 2012. It has been paid in full back in June 2013 through a legit negotiator. They started calling once a month around the 15th of month like clockwork on a paid in full loan, now been called twice this week alone, claiming financial fraud on non existent loans. I keep contacting my state attorney generals office, and been on first name basis with one of the agents since I have been calling enough times. People are so hard up that they use scare tactics like you have to go to court to fight allegations. It makes me laugh that caller Id shows Number calling from and voicemail tells you to call a number totally in another state (even if it is toll free number). A clue if it's a scam is the number you are to call back is a 855 toll free number.

I just received a call like this without identification just left # 1-844-745-3371 call within 48hrs to give statement.

A man named Charles keeps calling me from "the litigation department" as "the assistant to the attorney". This is his latest number 855-901-3532. He claims I owe a bank $2500 and need to pay over the phone immediately to avoid litigation. I have checked my credit and no such debt exists.

this phone number has been calling my family members, not me regarding a debt I supposedly have with them, when I call they answer with "hello" not with a business name, when I ask who they are they ask me who I am and all they gave me was a name of Tier One, saying they are the step further from debt collection. i don't even want to bother with these people. If they want to get paid why don't they send us bills thru the mail? why are they harassing my family?

I was arrested after I was civil sued in District Court by Durwood Hester of Time Financing Services out of Morehead City, North Carolina. The charges were Fraud-Disposing of Financed Property.I hired an attorney and his fee was 750.00 and my attorney negotiated on a settlement of 850.00 when I origanally owed 920.00. I was in court 3 different times and the 3rd time the case was dismissed. But this charge remains on my criminal record. I have to pay my attorney 250.00 to have it Expunged from my record. The strees caused me to fail 3 college classes and as a result my financial aid was suspended. The first time in court a man went before the judge on the same exact charge by the same Durwood Hester of the same Time Financing Services. I think that this Durwood Hester is making a regular practice of violating the Consumer Protection Act laws which state that a person is not to be arrested after a civil judgment as this is considered harassment and abuse by debt collectors.

Report 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

Family member got call from 855 999 8062 leaving threatening vmail case number claimed coming to serve..no such serve Google's the number several complaints about fake debts

bugzie: I lived in Fort Lauderdale Florida until last April back in 2011 /012 I took a loan with Plain Green on line $1000 these people sold the debt to one collection agency and hey sold it to Delray I paid the remaining amount to the collection agency that called me what delray is doing is re sale of the debts over and over again
2 days ago I received a call from a Mr jones with a Michigan # the next day a person from Florida said they serving me with a FELONY COMPLAINT someone needs to stop these people they are selling the debts over and I am getting my bank involve it is crazy.... they are using different people and names

If you get a call about a debt that doesn’t ring true, report it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers, and fraudsters.

This is all true! Received a check today from th FTC Re: Asset Management settlement. It's only 40 some odd bucks, but moreover, it's nice they are putting the clamps to these scumbags. I do have to admit, I will kinda miss their calls. I used to abuse them back until they would hang up on me.

I have been harassed by 'private investigators' 'mediation consultants' 'the authorities' with phone calls for the individual that obviously had my phone number prior to me. I have called back the numbers and then tracked down the address I was given, called the property manager and gave him the details; twice.

Calls were made from California, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. Threats to have a warrant served at place of business or home and that all rights would be forfeited, etc. Another, today actually, told me she didn't care 'who I was' two times and hung up on me. I telephoned the police in the Texas town that showed up on my caller I.D. This really has to stop.

Getting a new phone number while applying for jobs, graduate school, etc. is not an option. I need help.

Phone numbers from today were (817) 491 6052 & (682) 301 4914

I'm getting calls from several numbers saying someone passed a bad check using my name and SS number. They leave a phone number and call often.

1. I don't write checks. 2.If a bad check would have been processed to my bank and refused, my bank would have contacted me.

Name used is Premier Portfolio group or something like that. I just keep ignoring their calls, but just the constant recorded autocalls is harassment in my opinion.

It could be that someone used your name and Social Security number to write a check.

You can check your credit report to see if someone mis-used your personal information. This FTC article explains how to get your free credit reports.

I have also been harrassed by "Canyon Creek" i even paid them...they told me to put alll large dogs away and any weapons because they are sending the warrant squad...i was scared to death...then i started to research...today about a year later they called again...my mom as well as myself...i already spoke to the bank and had them blocked from removing funds and then got a new account...they told my mom they are the fraud division...she was calling me all petrified...i told her to tell them 1. I said im dead 2. The statue of limitations on this debt has been long passed 3. I never authorized sale of any of my debts 4. If u dont know my actual last name im pretty sure your the one committing the fraud!!! Thank u and good day!! They stated they are calling my local court system...I told them GOOD LUCK and i guess ill see u in court then!!! I started to do a lot of research on credit now and am no longer afraid!!!

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

I AM GETTING CALLS FROM NATIONAL MAGAZINE SAYIHNG I OWE THEM MONEY, NOW THEY HAVE Cae rosario attorneys calling me and threatening me by mail. I NEVER ORDERED MAGAZINES FROM THEM. I HAVE BLOCKED THEIR NUMBERS.THEY SEND OUT SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES SAYING NO PURCHASES NECESSARY. IN 2014 I SENT ONE IN ONLY GIVING MY NAME ADDRESS AND PH # SOMEHOW THEY GOT AN ACCOUNT #AND STARTED CHARGING ME ALMOST $40A MONTH FOR MAGAZINES. AS I WASN'T PURCHASING ANYTHING ON THE ACCOUNT I DIDNT CHECK THE MONTHLY PURCHASES FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. WHEN I DID THEY HAD STOLEN A LOT OF MONEY FROM IT. THEY HOUND ME DAY AND NIGHT SAYING I OWE THEM MONEY.A SO CALLED CASE ROSARIO ATTORNEYS OFFICE OUT OF MONTANA IS NOW THREATENING ME. DO NOT HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH EITHER OF THESE PEOPLE297

Pinnacle Asset Group LLC is at it again. All they did was change the name a little and they are off to the races. Not only do they call and state they are a legal processing firm but then also threaten to file bogus 1099-C forms with the IRS if you refuse to pay them on a non-existent debt for a company that doesn't exist. From my understanding of late they have in fact been filing the 1099's just to screw with people that refuse to pay them for their bogus schemes. Once they file it with a ssn, who ever that ssn belongs to has to prove the debt isn't theirs the filing company has to prove nothing and they walk away scott-free. I am hoping the FTC and the IRS will set up and do something about this latest tactic.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. Blog comments don't go into the database.

 

They are still doing it. They kept leaving threatening messages about some bogus lawsuit on my voice mail and they are wrongly reporting a debt they say they bought from Verizon on my credit report as an open revolving account like a credit card. They caused my credit score to drop 32 points in a month.

If there are mistakes on your credit report, contact the credit reporting companies. This FTC article about disputing errors on your credit report tells you more.

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