Phantom debt collectors impersonate law firms

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Getting a call from a debt collector can be stressful. But it can be downright frightening when the caller uses lies, profanity and threats to try to get you to pay. In a case announced today, the FTC says a debt collection operation in Charlotte, NC pretended to be lawyers. Really, they were not lawyers and had no authority to collect debts.

The FTC says the “collectors” used a variety of names to make people think they were dealing with a law firm. The imposters told people they were delinquent on a payday loan or other debt and threatened them with arrest, jail time, or getting sued unless they paid by credit or debit card over the phone.

Sometimes, the callers had personal information, like Social Security and bank account numbers, or relatives’ names. The callers used this information to convince people that the calls were legitimate.

In truth, the FTC says, the defendants pressured people into paying debts they never owed.

You can’t be arrested for not paying your bills. If a debt collector calls about a debt – and before you agree to pay anything – ask for a written proof that says how much money you owe and to who, and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money. By law, debt collectors have to send you a written document, called a validation notice, within five days after they first contact you. If they don’t, that’s a warning sign that they may not be legitimate.

Debt collection complaints account for nearly one-third of consumer complaints to the FTC. If you, or someone you know, has gotten a suspicious debt collection call, report it to the FTC. With your help, we’re finding the bad guys and putting them out of business.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I received a call from this company "Capital Reassurance" too. They called me Friday on my work phone as well as my cell phone. Left a message stating they had two pending allegations against me, just like they did yourself DMiller. I was told by a freind of mine not to call them back because it was a scam. Well today (Monday) I just received the same call from this company again, stating this was my final notification and they would actively persue me at my work and home. I called them back and they said I had taken out a payday loan back in 2012 and I failed to repay it. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN OUT A PAY DAY LOAN in my life... I just hung up on them. These calls are so aggravating. They try and intimidate and scare people into paying for something they did not do.

I have suddenly received phone calls from a random number asking to call back several times a day. They do not say who they are and they called my boyfriend and his parents at their numbers. We are not linked in any way and live in separate houses. I have never used him as a reference and I do not have his parents number so how in the world would a legitimate company get their info and be calling about both of us since we have nothing together? It is very disturbing. They call from 916-596-3751 and they say to call 877-350-2917. Google did not bring up any companies with those numbers.

I've been receiving calls from that 877 number as well. Are they asking to talk about someone else ? In the voicemail they said I have some relation to someone they have questions about and they say they are from GPO

Called me looking for information on a family member. They were vague and evasive about who they are. I couldn't find any information about them on the internet so I gave them nothing at all and insisted that they never call me again.

Got a call from a Blocked number from a "Legal Courier in Maricopa County" "Dave" stating they had legal documents to serve me with that matched my name and SS# They will serve me at 3-5pm at my home or workplace in front of security/supervisor. If they do not get a signature they will consider it a refusal and proceedings will continue without me. Also the case number they provided is searchable on public records and did not match anything. The number they left is 8773503356

Received voicemail same wording as Justin indicates above. Only it was from 877-350-5011.

I received a call from 518-509-1006 (NY Number and I live in Florida) (under my married name, which I have been divorced for over 4 years now) telling me that there is a pending judgment against me (in a county that I don't live in) and they need to get a hold of me (left the last 4 of my social on my voicemail)within 48 hours, which they called the day before and said the same thing. They called my ex-husband looking for me as well and actually told him that it was for a Payday loan and bad checks and asked him how can they get a hold of me. I have filed a complaint and contacted a lawyer since this is illegal. This is so stressful and time consuming and this did not start until the data breach with Equifax.

Got a call from Paige Wilson, who first called from a 316 number then from an 844 number. I am pretty sure its a scam. Some unpaid payday loan for an amount I never borrowed, with a company I never borrowed from.
They can't provide me with anything written except court papers. I said ok, send me that. What court, she had no answer for that except a compliance office would have that information.
She said the info she has is from an application. The message she left claims they sent registered mail, another lie.

I received a call today from a Chris, from the number 619-354-4821, National Document Services, asking if I would be home tomorrow because 2 uniformed officers would be serving me with legal papers. I am an 82-year-old senior, so of course, I was alarmed. I was given the number to a law firm,"Leonard Levy and Associates"415-226-9265 and a case number. The woman I spoke to, her extension was 119. Told me this was a Legacy Visa/First National, opened in 2007, last paid in 2008. Past any statute of limitation in Florida. However, this person told me that I had made some type of payment deal with them in December 2014, which reactivated this old, alleged debt. I can assure you that this is a lie. I never made any payments or negotiations with any collection agency or the creditor. This is a fabricated story from some dishonest collector. This woman at extension 119 said she was putting my "lawsuit" on hold for 24 hours so I could get my "ducks in a row", call Legacy Visa and find out who made a payment to them in December 2014 that re-activated this debt. That date has something to do with my credit report, it's very specific, so I think this company has my data from the Equifax breach. I, I have every bill on record I have paid in 2014, no collection agency or Legacy Visa alleged debt was paid. I feel this is a scam that needs to be looked into. They are claiming they are going to sue me for $1700+

I got the same call it's all fake don't worry. My father is a police officer, this is the new scam going around. And yes they got all your info from Equifax. Just them saying your name address etc sounds scary. Think about it, When someone really breaks the law enough to get arrested . Who calls to give you a heads up that the
police are coming,?? And if you owed any monies to IRS you would receive a letter. They never ever call. It says it in their website. Call the phone company to get the number that they called from blocked. Call the FTC and make a complaint . Bailey

Got a voicemail yesterday from a "Jennifer Smith" claiming to be an independent processor out of Kent County. She stated that she would be arriving at my residence or place of employment between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 on Sept. 22 to serve me papers. If I wasn't there it would be a "refusal to sign" and I would miss my court date. Then today, I got a call from a restricted number, I answered and again it was Jennifer Smith. Told her she had the wrong number. She then left a voicemail again stating the same as before, that she would be serving me papers today. On both voicemails she left the same call back number, 877-350-3356. Frustrating and annoying but I know I don't owe anyone money and I'm not in any legal trouble. Probably the most persistent fake collector I've encountered. Seems like others are having the same issue, strange that its all the same time frame.

I was contacted recently on arbritration notice about a past due account with ACE Cash Express. From Orange County, CA. I was told that theres an investigation on my account for fraudulant checks are being written under my name in coordinance with payments being made to ACE Cash Express. if no arrangements were to be made id be served at court and be served by court of law. I was given an option to pay total amount due in form of payments $515 / 12 months or settlement of $3148.24 and that a decision must be made within 24hrs or else my papers will be sent to the court in Orange County, CA. he said he would call me back to make arrangements. i called the number back and it had an answering service mailbox. The numbers that contacted me claiming to be on behalf of Orange County, CA. One phone number was in NY and one was in Los Angeles. Something didn't add up. I finally contacted ACE Express in reference to this call and was told that there was no Arbitrary action on my acct and that ACE does not take legal action nor get court legal action for me to make payments. I haven't paid the fees but I am not sure what to do? Who are these individuals? And do they have a right to have my SSN and information and order an investigation and take legal action on my acct and against my #SSN. Threaten to ruin my credit an take legal form preventing me from any or all financial institutions and banks if I don't make payment arrangements with them? Is this legal?

Please help.

Contact info are as Follows:

Alexander Cooper claiming to be a representative of Orange County Arbitrary sector. Phone: 1-213-325-6759. (Los Angeles number)

Another call from: Thomas Evcheck (sp) 1-716-601-6231 (NY number)

My bank also received debts from Automation Solutions North America that said I pre-Authorized a debt from my bank account. Their phone number was a Google phone number?

Looked on Google and the Name is an automated manufacturing company in Wisconsin that produces platforms of some sort. My bank said this number under Google listed them as Automation Solutions North America.

I'm so tired of the scams. How are people finding access to my banking acct information and SSN? I feel so violated. Is there a better way to safeguard my info?

If someone took money from your bank account without your permission, talk with people at your bank.

For everyone's information, payday loan companies never send people to collections if they don't pay their payday loan. I found this out from Moneytree, Cash America and ACE Payday Loans. There is no such a company as ACE Cash Express. These scammers will normally combine several company names into one. I have been blocking these calls. If i get an email, I tell them to send me copies of the documents that I "signed". I also read them the riot act and tell them that I know it's a scam. Also check your credit report. If a debt was turned over to collections, this information would appear on your credit report. Don't fall for their garbage. That's all it is. Garbage.

I've been contacted by 2 different phone numbers. They say I owe over 2000.00 in pay day loans!!! They even called my job!!

I've received a call from capital reassurance a guy named Logan Johnson...had my very old last name and old address and last 4 of my ssn...said I have a claim against me for a online payday loan threw web loan (never heard of them) and if I don't pay the reduced amount offered I will be going to court. Couldn't tell me the original loan date just that statue of limitation is ending in Dec this year but it took so long because it's been being investigated etc since 2012 and they are planning to pursue me fully if I don't settle. I have fell for this before twice even though I knew I never took loans out online. I told him ok I would rather go talk to a judge because I didn't take any online loan out

I just received the exact same phone call from the same man, same company. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he transferred me to Laura. I told her I would research the "loan" in dispute and would get back to her. My first web search brought me to this page. Have you been contacted since then Cheryl?

RRG, supposedly stands for Robert and Robert Group as quoted by "Ms. Rivers" who called me this morning said that I owe $ to a payday loan from years ago? I asked her to send me correspondence, and she kept on telling her imaginary person my last four digits of my ss# to send the court a disposition. Last month someone else called my stepmom and brother telling them that I was going to prison for fraud!They called from 860-506-7538. I pray they get what they deserve for preying on people.

I got a call from the same lady that said and did the very same thing to me! Evidently, they also called some of my family members. She was rude and belligerent on the phone. The original call came from a 614.347.9132 which left a voicemail to call 860.506.7538. Both numbers answer to RRG Consulting and we’re threatening court action.

Seems to me that these scammers probably bought our info from the hackers of equifax.. haven't received any calls personally, but also just switched cell phone company and number.. good luck to everyone and confirm every allegation.. my mom always told me to never give personal info or pay anything over the phone or internet unless I called them!! Has saved me and few of my friends from getting scammed over the years..

Hello everyone. I am glad I came across this website. I have received calls like this in the past, but now I am receiving threatening emails as I have blocked the numbers from calling. How can I go about reporting the scamming emails I am receiving?

i keep getting phone calls from 312-661-4607 telling me that Michael Murphy is a fraud investigator and a warrant will be filled in 24hrs if i don't call them back.

Í receive a email from Garnishment Notification and arrest notice they saying the i own money and they say the court can order to my employer to deduct 25to 35% from my earning or I can be arrested for not paying and have a case File # TR-220995 And no adrees no phone number. From this email (settlementagencydepartment ) by this investigator Officer Ethan McCoy Debt collection Department.

The caller ID came up as FIRST AMRCN TIT 1-202-608-1012. When I answered he asked for my husband Charles by name (he cannot speak due to a stroke). When I asked, "Who is this?" he said, "This is George from the IRS." I said, "Yeah right!" and hung up.
I know the IRS does not contact by phone especially from a number that is linked to a different company name. I did report it though both to the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting and the FTC.

I received a call from 206-962-3634 today, 10/6/17. I didn't answer the call. The caller left a voice mail stating it is the IRS and their investigating me for tax fraud. They said to call for more information at 206-962-3634.

So got a call from 401-495-7018 name of the company is Capital Reassurance they are stating that I owe money from a loan that I took 2012 the must hysterical thing is that the number in the email is from Miami has any one else the name of the company is Web Loan has any one else gotten a call from this company?

Got a call initially from Amber. She stated she was an independent process server and had my date of birth and last 4 of my ss# which she left on the vm. Gave me a number to call (866-700-8532) I called and got Patrick LaTempio from NDA and associates. Said I have an outstanding debt with fast cash payday loans for $920. I could settle immediately for $400 or 2 monthly payments of $460, or go to court where they would sue me for over $5000.00, but he was really pushing to get me to pay the $400 immediately. I said I need something in writing and he said he would email it. He did and it was a generic word document with no company address or web address and was sent from a gmail account, not a business. Total garbage. Just going to ignore any future correspondence from these clowns.

Got a call today
Today 9:18AM
Caller: Michelle Johnson
Callback # 1-877-350-2917 x253 but the caller Id shows 801-657-5652 & 801-935-8208 and there are NO Companies listed on the web under these numbers. Did not say what Company she's with, only that I need to call her back regarding a case file that's been submitted on her desk - calls me at work even!! Unacceptable! Remember people that Equifax system was hacked! Also if you have Anthem Blue Cross Ins, their system was hacked in 2015! Be careful people!

Im getting calls from Waterman & Assoc. 866-764-4458. Anything regarding this company?

My father got a call from 213-316-8174 scaring him saying that i owed $5000 to bank of american for a case and they have been searching for me. She said that if i dont contact them within 2 hours they would issue an arrest warrant for me. I contacted the number and she said it was a debt that i owed bank of american from 2006. she said that i could make monthly payments and that i needed to put down 300 today, she contacted the debt collector and they emailed me some contract that asked for my credit card info (only 1 page) and had all the dates when money would be taken out. But it didnt say bank of american for account it said US Bank. So i tried to google both numbers provieded nothing showed up, debt company doesnt have website or anything. Called back and told them to issue the warrant that ill fight in court if its real but till then not paying a dime.

This same number contacted my job looking for me and told them I had two hours to notify them or would be arrested. When I called back to see what it was about I got the same regarding an account with fifth third I previously had and closed. I also told them to issue papers but then she hung up on me and I never heard anything more. It has been a week. Just wondering if anyone further contacted you in regards to this?

I received a call from an unknown number today asking if I would be home between 8-4 today, to be served papers to appear in court. Then the person said you can call that same number (213)316-8174 to see what company was suing me. She said I had 2 hours to call them or I would have a “failure to appear”?!
When I called the number I only got a voicemail. And needless to say... nobody showed up to serve me papers. Scared me for a bit, but I have no clue why a company would be suing me.

On Monday 11.6.17, I received a call while I was at work from 716-202-0473. It was from Hamsburg, NY. The right who answered the phone name was Keith. I knew something wasn't right because he just asked my name and once I confirmed he said I was being sued, gave me the case number , and to call another number for further information. I was in complete shock because he just said I was being sued and basically hung up the phone. I called 213-316-8174 (An Los Angeles, California number) which was the other number giving to me . I finally got in contact with an representative After calling them 7 times. It was a female . She had all my personal information. I asked her what am I being sued for she said you old Citibank account was auctioned off to another company that took over Citibank and now I owe Citi- Bank over $5000 in debts; That I had owed when I was in my teenage years. Also that I will have to appear in court for any further Settlement. She said that letters where sent to my address stating that if I don't agree with a payment plan that I would be sued. I never received any letter from no company. I then proceed to ask her so when will be my assigned court date, she then tells me papers will be served to me stating when and where I will have court. I have not heard from them since I spoke to that representative and I have not recieve any paper notifications or served documents as of yet.

This whole entire situation is beyond crazy. These scammers are out of control. I'm trying to get my life together while they're out here trying to scare innocent people out of their pockets.

A way you can tell that it's a scam is the name of the business. No such bank as Bank of American. If they refuse to send you documentation that you "signed", it's a scam. I get phone calls and they use my old name. I block the calls. Contact US Bank and let them know what's going on. Don't give them any money. They get their money from people that are scared and believe what they are being told. Good luck.

Just have fun with it, tell them to come on over, Ill be out front waiting for you. One of my favorites is IRS calls, I always ask what's my complete SS# they get all flustered and ask me for it and I reply; your the IRS you called me don't you have my tax returns? The best are the collection agency people, you can get them in a real twist especially when you get them off their script with open ended questions or answer their questions with none-scene or repeat everything they ask and then ask the same question back to them. You have to remember, these people are at a disadvantage, otherwise they would follow the law and know it.

Received calls from Unknown twice today, man with heavy Indian accent giving my name and address saying they had documents being issued through the county clerks office then gave the number of 833-298-811. When I called the office back they stated it was legal administration. They have also called my husbands phone and my exhusbands phone. I am thinking because my ex has now filed bankruptcy and I received child support is how they got my information.

I just received a call from Lexington Law Firm. The number they called from 855-552-6824. The gentlemen claimed that I owed a payday loan and had very detail information concerning my property. I am concerned that they had my address and stated they would be coming to my residence to pick up my vehicles 4:30 p.m. I am going to make a police report concerning this situation and take protective measures. Please do not pay these thugs anything.

I am from Sacramento, CA. A law firm called from (855)622-2587 in early September. He said I will be summonsed if I don't pay a debt from 2007. He couldn't give me any information and told me if I pay today this issue would go away. He did have the last four of my social which is a bit concerning but that was all he knew besides my name. He gave me a case number and told me that if by not paying today I would have to appear in court. I Told him I would like to receive documentation of this case but he said it was to late for that. So I said "well I guess I will see you in court" and hung up. Nothing happened for a few weeks and today on 10/30/2017 I was contacted again by the same number with the same story and different case #. I was told tomorrow between 9-4 the sheriff will visit my grandmothers home with a summons. Some how they have my number as well as my mother and girlfriend. Not sure why a debt collector wouldn't contact me themselves if I owed money. Very strange an odd but each year I receive some type of new scam. Thinking I may need to change my number.

Live close to NC and get these calls every other day...thanks for the Info' been reporting them to the CFPB, but they keep using the same Six numbers of my phone and keeps changing the last four digits to get past the blocking service!

855-210-5049 was the number left on my voicemail telling me to call back about a lawsuit. They also called my neighbor and supervisor. I called the number back, but it was an automated message saying no message could be left and there was an error. I googled the number and nothing is associated with it.

Hi Marie, I got the same call from the same number today. they left a message that they were filling a lawsuit against me if I did not contact them they would process a court filing in my county. I called the number they left 855-210-5049 I actually spoke with a woman she knew who I was by my caller id, she advised that it was a payday loan that was done online. told her that I did not do payday loans. I found out later today when I got a text from a friend of mine that this same company called her asking if her I were friends, she told them she did not have time for this and they could call her back. they never called her back. I find this odd as how these people are contacting friends or relatives how are they gaining this informtion is what has me baffeled.

I got the same call last week from first 817-409-3124 and left the number 855-210-5049. That they were trying to locate me because they were going to serve me paper. They also called my job and called my parents. When i called the number back the lady wanted my social and address when i told her that i wasnt comfortable give that out and what was this about she said " we can play this game and i was going to be served papers" and hung up on me. Then i called back and i asked another lady why they were calling me and she said she didn't know that my account was locked.... Who are these people and how they got my parents number is crazy!!

I also am victim to multiple harrasing fake debt collector calls using extreme scare and high pressure tactics. I sadly paid a few thousand a couple years ago with a payment plan to a fake debt collector. The most recent is from "capital Reassurance". Ms Evelyne Dixon called me from 320-318-4078 telling me she I owed a $500 debt from an online payday loan from Dec 2010. I don't recognize this and am very confident I do not have this debt. I asked for a mailed debt validation letter and she said she is not a collection company and cant send that however can mail a paid in full letter after I pay $1400 over the phone to a stranger claiming a 7yr old/unverified debt. She gave me 24 hours then said she is recommending the client takes me to court and she cant wait more than 24 hours. seems like another one to watch out for everybody.

I received a call 682-219-0538 stating he was from the recovery & finalization division at Capital Reassurance. He said that there were allegations against me in their office and they would be actively persueing me at place of employment as well as my residence. They said that I have the legal right to call and settle with the plantiff, however once I was located I would forfeit those rights. Told me to contact their mediation dept and gives me a file #. I HATE HOW THESE PEOPLE PREY ON INNOCENT PEOPLE !!

I have received a call on my cell phone as well as my work phone from someone at this number 682-219-0538, saying they were from the recovery and finalization department at Capital Reassurance. He said that there are allegations in their office to be processed against me immediately. Stated they would be actively persuing me at my work as well as my residence, however I have the legal right to resolve this issue voluntarily with the plantiff and I need to call their office and they give me a reference number. He said that once I was located that I forfeit those rights. IT'S HORRIBLE HOW THESE PEOPLE PREY ON INNOCENT PEOPLE... I WISH THIS KIND OF THING DID NOT EXIST and there WAS A WAY TO CAPTURE AND PUNISH THEM.

Got a call from Texas, 936-657-3200.

I keep getting calls from Texas, threatening if I don't answer their questions, they will release my social security number and other personal information.  They asked if this is Lisa T****. That was my name before I married. I tell the lady that I will not give her any information until she answers MY questions. She said she doesn't have to do that, but I must answer her questions.  I screamed at her to stop calling me with this scam and hung up.

A person called my work today and told the Secretary that I needed to call 866-439-1420 about an unpaid payday loan and left a reference number. I called and talked to Anthony and I asked for paperwork to be sent to me about this. He said no that I could pay by phone using my credit card today. I still said that I would like a copy of the paperwork. He refused and said if I did not want to resolve this issue immediately that they were going to garnish my wages.

Got a call from the Capital Reassurance scammers claiming I owed on a payday loan. When I asked the phonies for specific information and to be sent a written validation the caller kept claiming he didn't have to provide me with the info. Bunch of fools trying to prey on the weak.

callers from allocation adjustment service 605-413-1500 continue to call myself and my family. I owe bell capitol corp for a payday loan in 2013. called back a few different times, got different people. they get angry when asked for more information and say I have 48 hours to take care of it or charges will be filed against me in court for malicious intent to defy financial institutions; spoke to connie once and she gave me the number for bell capitol corp 1888 989 5461 to get more info. while on the phone with connie I googled allocation adjustment service; i said i don't find your website, she advised they don't have one. when I asked if they were listed with BBB, she got upset and said she had other customers and didn't have to talk to me and hung up. I called the 888 number, it is a recording of surveys, sweepstakes for various legit companies, direct tv, t-mobile -very real sounding but my guess is this is another way to gather info for more scam possibilites

Voicemail from a Vail, CO phone number 970-401-8204. They did have my name, and he stated he was Trey Williams from Capital Reassurance mediation dept. Says I am forfeiting my rights in this matter?? Ok...never really said what the matter was lol . Wants me to call 650-590-1063 ref#1153653. I blocked this number, then they started calling my wife's phone and my in-laws' phone( which was an old address of mine). I do not have any accounts in collections so this is obviously a scam they somehow obtained my personal info


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