You are here

Fake debt collectors impersonate real businesses

Share this page

Fake debt collectors will say anything that will scare you into paying them. Today, the FTC stopped imposters who pretended to be lawyers. They threatened people with lawsuits and jail time to collect debts that didn’t exist.

These imposters often used the names of real small businesses or names that were very similar to those of existing businesses. When these real businesses started receiving calls from people trying to reach the “debt collectors” or complaining about abusive practices, they realized that their businesses’ name was being used in a scam. So they filed complaints with the FTC.

Fake debt collectors try many tricks to get you to pay. This advice will help you handle debt collectors’ calls:

  1. If a debt collector says you owe a debt, before you agree to pay anything ask for a validation notice that says how much money you owe. By law, they have to send you a validation notice in writing, within five days of contacting you. If they don’t, that’s a sign that you’re dealing with a fake debt collector.
  2. If a debt collector threatens you with jail time, hang up the phone. They’re violating the law and you should report them to us.
  3. If you own a small business, it might be a good idea to research online occasionally to check if anyone else is using your business’ name. And if you start receiving complaints about practices that your business is not engaged in, let us know.
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit
Scam Tags:  Debt & Credit Scams


how can we be sure these agencies are for real

A reputable business must send you a letter. Also, it is against the law for a collection agency to threaten you with an arrest warrant or jail if a payment. If they do,hang up, and report it to you State Attorney General Office. They cannot threaten with legal or law enforcement action.

Ask them for a phone number that you can call them back. IF they offer you one, get the person's name and/or Employee ID #. That should tell you real quick.

They're NOT real, that's the point of this and you should know if you owe money or not! Best plan=don't answer.

Thanks, hopefully these people will have tons of time behind bars.

Thanks for alerting the public about these scans! I wish I had known years ago when my parents got scammed with selling their time shares. I think it lost them over 40,000.00! I tried warning them that they needed to tell them to take their fee out of the selling price of the time share! They learned a very expensive lesson!!

is the number 701-532-2305 a credit collections bureau

Very interesting. Is there a way to distinguish a REAL validation notice from a fake one?

I'm so happy to receive great updates and information. Thank you so much for always sharing.

Thank you so much for keeping me informed. I am on the "Do Not Cal" registry, but the SCAM calls are never ending so once again, Thank you.

I am on the DO NOT CALL list, but that doesn't stop callers calling me.

If you can have your Phone# changed, then it would help. A phone# that is not listed in the Directory helps too. Don't give your new Phone# at stores.

I had the Indiana state business agency (scammers impersonating) call me and told me i had back taxes due. They were very convincing but I knew I didn't have any. ONLY if paid small amount I would be ok. I just had to give them a check over the phone and no debit/credit card which was the biggest red flag.They're getting creative.

Thank you, for the information this will help a lot. I will report this caller who states the they are part of legal meditations who refused to send me my so called reports. Thanks again

My wife had a few payday loans years ago which were promptly paid off before term. However,since then we keep getting phone calls from these scammers to pay up. The usual, they threaten her with law suits and arrest if we don't pay the debt. Since I am an educated consumer I know her rights concerning these matters and the so-called collectors rely on scare tactics & threats instead of any actual proof of the debt. These calls go in cycles and have gone on for years. If these calls were legitimate, my wife would have been arrested a long time ago, but guess what, she hasn't been. My wife is now on the "scammers" list and we receive many different types of scam phone calls, making up about 90% of our incoming calls on our land line. Please, read up on your rights and learn the sings of a scam to protect yourself. There are many ways to spot these & other scams so you must educate yourself in order not become their next victim. Never let a stranger con you out of money until you've had a chance to think, research and talk to others you trust before it's to late. Although I do feel sorry for people who do fall for these scams, ultimately it is your decision to part with your money, or not. So be vigilant, educate yourself and your loved ones and like it or not, this is the world we live in.

My story is almost identical to your wife's. It definately goes in cycles and every couple of years I think I am free from this scam and the calls begin again, sometimes to my relatives which is really annoying.

Looks like our info just keeps getting recycled but just as you stated, I'm up on all their tricks and wont get fooled.

Use caller ID to report those phone numbers to the FTC complaint assistance. That's what I did and the calls stopped.

They are doing the same to me for a default on payday loan I couldn't pay off from 2009 the Fyber Mediation from Georgia Hiedi 706 341 0080 telling me to keep 2 forms of id and get a lawyer her attorneys are getting me for theft when it was a default on payday loan but they hang up when you question them about a 200 dollar loan

If a debt collector says you owe a debt, ask them to send a validation notice that says how much money you owe, before you agree to pay anything.

The law says they have to send you a validation notice in writing, within five days of contacting you. If they don’t send it, it's a sign that they're fake debt collectors. Read about your rights when you deal with debt collectors.

Today was the second time this person called me. I asked for a letter and yet again I’m told that they don’t send letters. Today when I challenged her about the letter she said they don’t send letters because people can use them to say the debt was paid in full. She told me that the severs were looking for me. But she also said that they were going to file with the court tomorrow if I didn’t take a settlement or pay I full. She hung up on me.

I had two collection agencies contact me because I had not paid a doctor's bill that I was unaware I was responsible for. I did check out the collection agencies and I called the doctor's office to see if they indeed worked with the two agencies. I also found out that the doctor's office had my information wrong!

Isn't for the telephone company's responsibility to keep Customer's privacy protected??.

It should be!! Phone carriers are providing a service to consumers and should have the same responsibility to "know their customer" and protect consumers from fraud just as every other company. The government needs to put the onus back on these phone companies and hold them accountable.

The government, or webcarriers, need to shut down spoofing sites. That's what scammers do, spoof telephone numbers. Spoofing is using a legitimate phone number to pull a scam. That's why scammers have hundreds of different phone numbers.

If I ask them to send me a validation notice and they ask me to verify my mailing address, I would not do it. I figure if they don't have my mailing address, they don't really know who I am.

is credence resource mana. a legal debt collector and can you tell me how to get a debt taken off of my credit report

A credit reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years.

If there are mistakes on your credit report, read this FTC article about disputing errors on credit reports.

....really appreciate these updates. A million thanks for your service !!!

thank you it s great to know

I have been ignoring emails like this on a friend's advice. It is not legitimate. First clue--my social security number is in the emails. If I knew who they were I might sue THEM for that breach of security.

Bay Area Credit is a scam I sent a money order to Cenntenal heart at summit and the cashed it. It was not made out to them how it went to them I have no clue but they refuse to refund the money so she is out of 180:38 it's been three months haven't heard anything I'm praying the money order co. Will help I can't understand why they were aloud to cash it with out their name on it.

I paid the Help America Group over 5,000. and now the companies are coming after me

Anyone know about Kennwood and associates. We got a call on a debt paid off. Do I have to prove anything to them? Now threatening us to go to court etc.. all with one call. This debt does not even show up on credit report cause it was paid. Do I need to be harassed by them?

The caller might be a fake debt collector. Read more about fake debt collectors, and what you can do if they call you.

I am really getting tired of these fake Govt loan calls. When u tell them to put u on do not call lust the cuss u out and call u filthy names.

Received a call from a 855-203-9254 number. Was told I owed a debt from several years ago. They had some of my personal information, and were very threatening. Luckily, I used to work as a legal secretary, so I was able to trip them up and see through their scam. Beware!

Please help me!!Dear Ladies and Gentlemen I need your help, i will appreciate theme if they It check whether really address with this email address Consulateembassy         directed Lisa George works And also wrote to me. And a wise Devin Francis from Louisiana who works for government and appreciates the money. I sent to him money Mrs Lisa has told me. If that is not the case then I will report that as fraud.

I also send me as proof 1-2 mails I received. I hope they write my write seriously, Thank you for your understanding. Best regards Marina M  


The email from Lisa George is a scam. That email is not from an embassy or consulate or government office. The email address ends with ".com" to show you it is a commercial email address. It is not a government address.  Someone is pretending to be with the government and they are taking your money.

The U.S. government does not require US citizens to pay for travel permits. Do not send money. You can ignore the emails.

They might send you more email, or tell you more stories and ask for money. They might say it is urgent. You can ignore them, and keep your money safe. Please write again if you have questions.

It became so horrible that I wouldn't answer my phone if I didn't recognize the number. It was even worse when my husband retired. He hadn't been through what I had suffered. He wanted to talk to any one that called and we quarreled about it. Now he's beginning to understand. Also,I bought a phone with call blocking and add numbers to it all the time. I also added every person I knew or expected to hear from, and they pop up in my Caller ID so no surprises.

When we signed up for a land line years ago, the first call I got was the phone company to make sure our phone was working. The next call I got was a sales call, who addressed me by my full name. The only people who had my phone number at that time was the phone company.
When we moved, we got the old number from a car dealer's repair shop. I had people calling me 7 days a week to make appointments. I found out they (the dealership) were still giving our my phone number as the number for parts and service. I called their main line and asked them to stop doing that. But the calls kept coming, so I started making appointments for people to bring their cars in for service.
Suddenly, the calls for service started to taper off. Magic!
I hated to do it, but when people just won't do their job or take responsibility, only extreme measures work.

Thank you for alerting us to these scams.

I had a so called bill collector threaten me with jail via computerized voice mail. They said someone would be at my house to serve me! They even contacted my estranged son as well as his father who I've been divorced from for 38 years and do not use his name! I am disabled and sat home waiting to be served legal papers on the day and time they specified. No one showed up! Of course. However, what can I do about anyone contacting family I don't have contact with and live 1500 miles away from?

You can report the number of the fake debt collector who called you to the FTC at The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

If you get a lot of calls from the same number, you can try blocking the calls.

I have a new mystery telemarketer hitting both my landline (guarded by NoMoRobo) and cell phone (guarded by app).

If I answer the call or back call the number, A very long recording starts saying this is "the call" and rambles on and on about some financial deal. I can't figure out what this idiot is after, as I can't get to the end of the recording, even after about 10 minutes. What an idiot!

I a person is going to scam someone, this is NOT effective. There is also no "press one" to do anything, just their damn useless recording.

I'm wondering if the FTC is up to speed on "the call". I should hope that NoMoRobo has supplied enough data by now on them.

Do bill collectors or law firms use the cash app...sounds like a scam to me

Google. Fair Credit Reporting Act You will find that you have all kinds of rights. Read the Act the the burden of proof is on the collection company.

What if they say they are from a mediation office, do they still need to send you a debt validation notice?

A business that regularly collects debts owed to others is a debt collector. A debt collector could be a collection agency, a lawyer who collects debts on a regular basis, or a company that buys delinquent debts and then tries to collect them.

A debt collector, meaning every business that regularly collects debts owed to others, must send you a written “validation notice”  telling you how much money you owe -  within five days after they first contact you.

Can they file civil suit? I helped my daughter get a car back in 2015 and it was repossessed. Now they are saying the they will file a civil case against me. (Blasberg, Deichmann and Associates)

I’m sick of these calls from bogus bill collectors, you owe IRS and going to jail or my new favorite United States Federal Grants Departments which does not exist they want to give me 9700 if I call them on another line. I call FCC, FTC, and IRS about these individuals. I’ve gotten them to call several times. I have no student debt and I know what or who I owe and don’t owe. However, I understand these are scams and maybe because I have yet to commit one way or the other they keep trying. But now it is bothersome. I thought under Rule 23 of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act companies could not sell or call a Cell Phone without the individuals express consent using auto dialing. Since there is always a pause between the connection and me saying hello like three times. I know it is an auto dialer. When is the FTC going to go after the companies that sell your telephone number on these lists. If you stop the source, you start to address some of the trolling. I don’t have a land line and now I won’t but I don’t think I should have to change my number for these scammers. Somehow and I know how I did our names ended up on a list that is sold over and over again. Mine was for a payday loan that was paid back. But I applied to a couple. That doesn’t give anyone the right to sell the information. And I always say no or don’t check the SMS marketing contact list.


Leave a Comment