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Bogus debts, bogus collections

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At the FTC, we sue abusive debt collectors and try to do right by people who’ve been harmed by unlawful practices. But we also try to protect people from being harmed in the first place. That’s exactly why I’m here: to warn you about debt collectors calling about debts that the FTC knows are bogus.

The bogus debts supposedly are payday loans from these companies: USFastCash, 500FastCash, OneClickCash, Ameriloan, United Cash Loans, AdvantageCashServices, or StarCashProcessing. The companies are real, but if you’re hearing from anyone other than those companies, the debts are fake and you don’t need to pay.

Sometimes, if they can’t collect money owed to them, companies sell lists of those debts to debt collectors. But, in this case, we know that didn’t happen. The company that processed and serviced loans from these companies told the FTC that it never sold any customer or account information to debt collectors. Their lawyer even filed a legal declaration saying that.

Even so, we’ve still heard about abusive calls from debt collectors claiming to be collecting money owed to the companies listed above – and we already know that’s not true. But we also know that many of the people who have been called never even had a loan with those lenders in the first place – so the debts themselves also are bogus.

What to do if you get a call from a debt collector who says you owe money to one of those companies? You have rights. Ask for a validation notice, which says what you owe and to whom. After you get it, consider sending a letter saying that you don’t owe the debt. If you’re getting debt collection calls, check your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. If a debt you don’t recognize shows up there, follow the instructions to dispute the debt. And, as always, report any problems to the FTC.

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

Comments

Good information. How do you proceed after you are harassed over the phone, specially when the caller claims to be from the IRS.

You can report the call to the FTC and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

I receive letters that debt that is not mind. What can I do about that. I have never had the debt

Debt collectors must follow rules when they write to you or call you. You can tell the debt collector to give more information about the debt.

The law says debt collectors must send you a written notice about the debt. The notice is called a “validation notice.” The notice must say:

  • how much you owe
  • who you owe the money to
  • what to do if you do not owe the money

When you get the validation notice:

  • Read it. Do you know the debt? The notice should name the “creditor.” The creditor is the person you owe money to. You can call the creditor to get more information. 
  • The notice tells what to do if the debt is not yours.
  • If the debt is yours, make a plan for how to pay it.

If you need help to pay a debt, you can go to a credit counselor. A credit counselor can help you make a plan to pay debts. This government website lists credit counselors in every state.

 

Bridget,
As someone who has been through the steps to have inaccurate information removed from my credit report, a "validation notice" appears meaningless to these people. They simply say the debt is yours and proceed from there. This was a couple years ago, and hopefully some things have actually changed. But for everyone out there who has been through this little slice of hell, the burden should fall on collection agencies to validate info from bulk portfolio purchases. They should be fined significantly for placing inaccurate information on someones report, knowing that it common for many consumers to just pay, rather than spend countless hours trying to prove that they are innocent, including filing "identity theft" charges against someone simply with your name who may or may not exist. Some of this is just crazy and these people make way too much money on the misery of others.

People are out there pretending to agents from ftc and also from NAUPA. Thank god i do my home work and double check on who is really who. They still call but i dont answer.i reported to Nickie over there.Gave her all the phone numbers they call from.

Got a call yesterday from a Guy telling me he was from Card Payment Services and I had been paying so well and above the min. amount for some time now they wanted to give me a reduced rate of interest for 2 of my highest credit cards !!!

So which ones would I like the reduced rate on ? He had my name,first digit of my Visa, I chose, then asked to confirm my address, which I did, then gave him the last 4 digits of my CC number,

But when he asked for the last 4 digits of SS I said Wait a Minute !!! No way I'm giving you Those Numbers...He laughed then I said good try and good bye, then hung up phone. But I'm afraid I still gave too much info, so I called cc company,which by the way he had the correct phone number to, and cancelled the card.

Still wondering if I should put a Freeze on Credit Reporting Agencies ????????????? Don't know how much damage that would cause me to get back off from.... FYI

If you're thinking about getting a credit freeze, this FTC article explains what a credit freeze is, and how it works.

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Receiving threatening emails from someone demanding money but refuses to send me info on it. They want money via money gram. Will not give me a phone number and address either. Not sure what to do. Threating to have me arrested.

If you get a call from a debt collector who says you owe money,  you have a right to ask for a validation notice.

The notice will say what you owe, and to whom. If you get the validation notice, and it isn't about your debt, you could send a letter to tell the debt collector you don’t owe the debt.

If a collector won't send you a validation notice, it could be a scam. Fake debt collectors often do these things:

  • say you have a debt that you don't recognize
  • threaten to have you arrested
  • won't give you the business name or address.

Scammers got tired of calling me cause I stopped answering calls from unkown callers!!!

I just received a call from this number saying they are a law firm for a credit judgement. telling me I owe money on a credit card that I paid off 4 years ago. I never received any mailing from them. they also called from 1-844-748-3223 her name was lisa

If you get a call from a debt collector who says you owe money,  you have a right to ask for a validation notice.

The notice will say what you owe, and to whom. If you get the validation notice, and it isn't about your debt, you could send a letter to tell the debt collector you don’t owe the debt.

You can also order your free credit report, and check it to ake sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. 

I have been receviving her calls to since Sept and was told i owe money from ACE cash express. And they have been sending me letter to a place I have not stayed in for about 3 years now. When I started asking her question and for a validation notice she got really upset, i told her this can be a possible scam and fraud she got more upset i went tf off on her. HER name is LISA PERKINS and she is a loser

I just got a call from 803-368-3304 saying they were going to take me to court about a "faxed Order" When I asked the lady (Sharon) what was this about she ignored me asking if my address was Blah Blah.. She got very upset and said she was trying to help me. I told her to take me to court and she slammed the phone down! Be careful guys... the recoding asked me to call 855-252-4094 however I called the number that came up on my phone 803-368-3304

If you receive a call from Flighstar Capital Partners (John Poindexter) 305-505-8806 or 954-522-6292 report him to the FBI and FTC. He will call and threaten you that you owe him for a fake loan. He also works with a person named Elbert Reiziger (Starling Property Investments) 941-518-1124. These are ponzi schemes.

I am getting several calls each day from 844-513-3139 claiming to be a collection agency for outstanding loans. They will not provide creditor information or an address but insist that immediate payment via credit card is needed to avoid further action. When pressed, they hang up but continue to call.

Did anyone receive a call from these Tel 630-599-5060 or 630-282-6942 harassing and intimidating telling that they will put a lien on your home because money is owed, which is not true. They also threaten to take you to court.
They claiming they are from ARA.

I got a call this morning from a 716-200-4660 stating he is a paralegal and this is the final time they are going to contact me but i've never heard from them before He said his name is Peter Kauffman and i'm going to be served with papers to appear in court for a civil and criminal suit and he had the last 4 of my social and current street address. He said either me or my attorney needs to contact him by May 2nd or they will show up at my place of employment or home. I called the number back to get company name and address and the lady was hesitate and confirmed that it was a call center and got agitate because I wouldn't give her personal information and just wanted confirmation of the company name and address. She only gave me FCS and Associates Millhurst NY, I don't know if I should be worried or try to call back to speak to the gentleman who called me. I looked up my credit report and I have one thing under dispute that isn't me but the company name isn't what she gave me.

A legitimate debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. The notice has to include the name of the creditor you owe money to, and what you can do if you don’t think you owe the money.

For more information, read our post, Don’t recognize that debt? Here’s what to do.

Does anyone know about a company called Portfolio Recovery? They call our home repeatedly from different phone numbers. I do not answer the calls. How can you stop these people?

Yes I get those calls from that company they call my mothers house asking for me

Portfolio Recovery are real bottom feeders. They get abusive when you try to pin them down. They have been sued numerous times, but that hasn't stopped them. They keep calling me on a $50.00 charge that was discharged 14 years ago. Most of the time I ignore them, but if I'm bored, I answer the call and mess with them, keeping them tied up as long as I can, just so at least one agent isn't bothering someone else.

I don't owe anyone but I am always getting calls from scammers from a San Antonio area code. It has been several years and these scammers call family members and work constantly. They threaten to put me in jail and show up at my house. I see people complaining about the same thing on the internet...So why hasn't the FTC done anything about it? These people have all my personal information and with our technology today we can't stop this?

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you leave here on the blog don't go into the database.

Hello,
I just got a call from 844-819-6199. They claim that I am being sued or a witness in a case. They have called before and I blocked that number, now they are calling from the number above. I am wondering how many people this scam artist are bothering. Can any legal entity do something?

Law enforcement can, but won't. These must be done vigilante style. Flush them out. Offer a cashier's check for the full amount in Certified Mail, picture ID required to pick up. Contained in the envelope would be litigation papers served on them (if local rules of that county allow it). Other than that, the criminal element occurred in the county or city where you received the harassing calls. Find out who signed for he mail, inform the agency of that jurisdiction of the person who picked up the certified letter. Or perhaps a private consortium of a great many people that can disable their calling capibility (not tDOS), people. Tdos is against the law. thousands of people calling is perfectly legal. Shut 'em down.

I just got a call from 1-866-503-3080. They are claiming that I have a payday loan in the amount of 400 and that I have to case against me. If I own something I would gotten a documents about this and he left me a threating message his name is James Alexander becarefull about this

I just got a call that I am sure was a scam. It was from "US Treasury" to talk about debts. I don't have any debts to the US Treasury, and I used to work for the IRS, so I know this was a scam and hung up. The number the call came from was 682-200-2575.

Yesterday I was harassed at work by a man saying that he worked in the internal investigations department of a Cash Payday loan company and he was trying to collect a debt from a loan payment I never received. I could barely understand him and he kept asking me to confirm the bank account number and social security number. I told him that I had no record of receiving funds from them and if there was a debt he needed to send it to me. I told him I would fight it and take it to court with a lawyer, he said that I would end up paying for court fees so I might as well settle out of court and pay him over the phone now. After I hung up on him he continued to call my work all afternoon, my coworkers just told him I didn't work there and he started yelling at them. He gave everyone different names and called from blocked numbers and 909-999-7705. I'm convinced my identity has been stolen ever since I took out a short term loan in February.

I got an email from a Frank Wright tell me I owe and cash advance loan for $1296 if I didn't answer the email in four hours they were going to the courts the email is and aol acct I never took out a cash loan and I could owe $6300 in court fees and I need to contact Stephanie Smith at a aol to handle the matter and they put a California address at the bottom of the email they have my address my employer name and my social security number what can I do to stop this please help!!

If you know you don't owe the debt, the email could be from a fake debt collector. Often, an email from a fake debt collector:

  • wants you to pay a debt you don't recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number;
  • wants your personal or financial information
  • tries to high pressure you into paying by threatening to have you arrested or reported to law enforcement.

A fake collector might have information about you. That doesn't prove they are legitimate. This FTC article tells more about fake debt collectors.

You could tell them to send you a written "validation notice" about the debt before you'll talk to them. A validation 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. This FTC article tells more about your rights.

 

I keep getting emails from a ACS debt collection saying I need to pay a bill with a unregistered one vanilla prepaid card. They will not send me their address until I pay 247.00

I keep receiving calls from 1-844-820-5020. Keep claiming we owe a payday loan which we don't. They have called my husband claiming to be from Hamilton County Sheriffs department using a fake phone number. They call all hours of the day and call my inlaws all hours of day. They are extremely rude. Won't provide a address for me to send them a cease and desist letter. I asked for a validation of debt and they sent me a email of some generic letter that anyone could type up on their computer. Beware they are ruthless. They are called API Recovery Solutions.

These details would be useful in a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Anyone heard of Wynn and Associates out of California? A John Roberts calls and says I owe 5/3 Bank money and if I do not cooperate he will sue. I looked it all up on the Internet and found a few references. Is this guy legit?

If you think you have a debt with a company, you can contact the company yourself and ask about your account. You can also ask if the debt collector who called you is working with them.

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors.

For example, within five days after they first contact you, a debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe. The notice must show the name of the company you owe, and explain what you can do if you think you don't owe the money.

This FTC article tells about fake debt collectors. The person who called you could be a fake. The article tells you signs of a fake, and has tips about what to do if a fake collector calls.

For over a year Kaplan Lawfirm called my mom, dad, brother, brothers mother-inlaw and ex-girlfriend threatening charges and court appearances. I ask for their street address and they hang up. Says I owe collections from over 10 years ago. I asked for validation and they emailed me and read and sign to pay haha. I'm not that stupid. Their address showed up and turns out to be an innocent doctors office number. Thanks to T-Mobiles recent security breach, somebody stole their customers personal information and down the rabbit hole they go to try to get money from you and your family and friends.

some one from the 866-994-7516 keeps calling my work and telling my manager they are going to subpoena me if I do not call back in one hour. I called the number the first day and it just rang. They called back the next day to my work and said the same thing I had one hour to call. How can I get them to stop calling my job. I didn't do any thing work and they are bothering my at my job? Make it stop

I have been receiving non stop calls from several numbers. The message left says I need to contact them regarding a return from my bank. If I do not respond in 24 hours, it will go to the wage garnishment department or something like that. The number is (205)419-2933 among others. I think the company is Data Check of America. From what I found on the internet, it is a scam. How do I make them stop calling?

If you're getting unwanted calls from the same phone number, see if your phone can block calls, or if your phone carrier provides a call blocking service. Your phone carrier might charge a fee for call blocking.

When you get unwanted calls, don't press a number or ask to talk to anyone. If you answer the call, the callers know your number works, and they will keep calling you.

IT is incredible HOW SMART THESE "THIEVES" ARE! in March/2016 we had an appt w/the IRS..a few days before i received a phone call from someone claiming to BE THE IRS! And said i owed over 5K from 2002! Ironic that we had an appt. w/them already-so IT took me a while to catch on this was a scam! As i knew i didn't owe from 2002 OR i would have heard from them-IRS before as i have lived @ same address for 26 years!

THEY threatened to call my Sheriff's Dept & have me arrested. NOW i am 60 yrs old & KNOW the Sheriff doesn't handle unpaid taxes! Due to caller I.D i called back & told them i would send a check & to give me their address. When i got it i looked up the SHERIFF in the city they told me to send this "un-owed"$ to. And reported them.. Of course i didn't owe this amount!

Another thing to KEEP your eyes open for are COLLECTION AGENCIES! Once in 2007 my brother punched me in the mouth & COPS came. i needed stitches but having no insurance @ the time-my son drove me to ER. Ambulance SHOWED but i didn't call them nor go w/them. I kept receiving a bill AND to make a long story shorter-they put this $150 reported to the 2 Credit Bureaus (also CROOKS)-as they always side w/the merchant when you dispute it. This Collection agency keeps changing the date so it REMAINS on my credit history-which BTW is almost 800FICO SCORE! And this erroneous report of the $150 should be OFF by now-but nope-only supposed to remain on for 7 years!

THEY RECENTLY TRIED TO BILL ME AGAIN for a hospital visit in 2015-when i have 2 insurance companies! The bill from the HOSPITAL was only $25 BUT these "guys-bandits" are tryin to charge me $47.58! And to my knowledge & due to my LOW LOW INCOME-i thought this $25bill was cleared as the HOSPITAL didn't have one of my insurance #'s..HOW DID IT GO FROM $25 TO ALMOST $48?? Someone needs to monitor EQUIFAX; EXPERIEN & TRANS UNION as they are not ALWAYS CORRECT & SHOULD NOT A-L-W-A-Y-S side w/crooked COLLECTION AGENCIES! Let them report me as they are not getting a dime from me! thanks+

This past week I received no less than 12 calls from the payday loan scammers, CMA Group, LCC, Collateral Bank ( 855-259-6068 and 844-505-9361) and they demanded I pay for an allege default on payday loan for 2008. In the first call, the default allegedly occurred in 2008. In all call, this entity wanted to extract personal information they already had, including my SS #. Last year, it was the same scammers with a different name, High Point Asset Collections (one is the same Bryan I had confrontations with last year and this year). When I ask them about a validation letter, they hang up. They have so many people working for them that their calls are constant. I contact the State Attorney General, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Federal Trade Consumer Protection Agency for assistance.

These individuals are so inept because they seem not to understand that even if a consumer defaulted on a loan in 2008 or 2011, the 4-year statue of limitations has run out. In my case, I do not owe a debtor any unpaid loan from 2008 or 2011.

call from 1-206-823-3334 left message on answering machine that the company has a lawsuit against us.
number we should call back is206-523-2224 does anyone know anything about this scam

I got a call from 844-661-8919 yesterday on my cell, home phone and work phone. No company name is left when they leave a message just some kind of reference #. When the call came on my cell, I have an app that states it's a scammer and the app blocked the number. I wish these people would stop trying to get over.

I have been receiving calls from a collection agency that are for my daughter, not me. These have even come in since her death earlier in 2016. Would like to know how to stop receiving these calls.

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. This FTC article explains what debt collectors can and can't do, and how to tell a debt collector to stop contacting you.

A legitimate debt collector may contact someone besides the person who owes the debt, but only to get contact information for the person who owes the debt. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once.

If a collector keeps calling you about your daughter's debt, and you explained that your daughter is not there, he might not be a legitimate debt collector. He might be a fake. 

A fake collector may try to threaten or scare you into paying immediately. You don't have to give him any information.

I received a phone call from a firm by the name of TACS which stand for Trans American Consumer Services. they called and stated that I owe some company by the name of Holding back in 2011. I told them that I did not owe any company by that name.

I also told them that I want a written document or statement from them that I had signed. I wanted it mail and not email or faxed. I want it sent in the US postal service. they stated that they will be sending that to me. I then called them back and told them that I needed a physical address and the man hung up the phone. I called again and that this person by the name of Trisha Brown (this is what she told me is her name) and that they are in Miami Florida, She could not give me their physical address because too many people would be after them because of threats.

I have been getting calls from them going on 2 years now. There phone number is 8449520999. These people are scams. Do not accept anything that they say to you. They even had my last four digits of my social security number.

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you make here on the blog don't go into the database that law enforcement uses.

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