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

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I received a phone call on my cell phone from a Valorie Scottom saying she is from a legal server and that I need to call within 24 hours or the legal documents will be sent to my employer. They called my boss and asked him about our legal serving policy. He did not know what to say. He gave me the phone number which they wanted me to call Aaron Silver Law Firm at a 619 number. Its a scam. I have to tell my boss its a scam to not worry. I also have suspension that Check n go has been selling applicants names and employer names and numbers. I never got a loan from Check n go, but when I have applied in the past, I get these weird phone calls. They have access to the application which has my name, social security number, employer, and their phone number I really think these kinds of scams have something to do with the online loan agencies like Check n go, or local stores. I wish someone like FTC will look into Check n go. They are the only ones that I have encountered without a loan. They have my application, and I think they are selling applications even if you never got the loan.

You can report that to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give us goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

SO i am trying to figure out if this is a scam from a debt collector or what. I used to be a debt collector for all of 3 months. I had to quit because i just couldn't be the kind of person that was rude and mean and verbally abusive.
Anyways this is the message that was left on my ex husbands voice mail. " This is investigator Johnson in regards to a complaint against jane doe (not real name used) after a thorough review of the investigation of the affidavit, i do find that the documents forwared to my office do indeed support the the order for jane doe to appear in court for alleged check fraud. I would like to talk to Jane directly before signing off on the paper work and be reached at 844-689-9957. So this is a toll free number so Jane should have no difficulty returning the call within the next 24 hours. Pre-trial docket number to reference the call ######. Be advise failure to responded leaves me no choice but authorize the execution of any and all paperwork referencing your appearance to xxxx county. Serviced is due to be executed not only at your residence but place of employment. Jane Doe you've been notified"

This was the exact message. Now the things that don't add up for me is. If this is legit. Then they would have ran a skip trace and seen that the number that I called does show up at a lane line in Colorado that I no longer live at. This alleged check thing would have been from a payday loan that had fallen through the cracks when i had some family health issues and death happen. Which I thought I have taken care of. The reason I mention this is because again if they did the skip trace that all happened in Colorado. I now travel all over, bounce from state to state because my new husband's job. The county that they listed is in Ohio. So this just tells me that they have pulled a skip trace on me and know that my currently mailing address is in Ohio. Yet my permanent residence is now in Arkansas. What I have noticed is that they don't mention a business or if it is a government office. Also the voice mail that it was left on didn't not mention my name on the greeting so they couldn't have heard it at all. I have googled the number and have only found a couple of few vague comments. I don't want to call them back at this moment because i don't want them to start calling my number if it is a scam. or do i need to file a complaint with someone because of the tactics that they used.

I'm currently paying a law firm to help negotiate my debt that was messed up by a another scam debt company. They sent me a lot of paperwork to verify them with the BBB. I haven't seen anything bad. I decided to sign up. No threats, no pressure, nothing negative. How do I find out this is a legitimate law firm working for me. Please let me know I've been scammed before and I don't want to lose more money.

You could contact the Bar Association in your state. They will have information about lawyers in your state.

Also a relative of mine received a call from a so-called collection agency stating there are pending charges and papers will be sent to my home address. What is this about?
Call originated from OK-918-505-4178. Please stop this!

I got a call from Russell Davis from the mediation dept from Capital Reassurance at 770217375, but they called me earlier in the week from a 724 area code. He stated that they could send wage verification to my job for wage garnishment. I have received nothing in the mail or anything on paper stating any of this info. Also he said that this comes from a payday loan from 2011-2014. How id this possible. Is this a scam?

A call from 307-248-4818 called stating from RGG Consulting...I did call back the number they gave 305-735-6710, only because I wanted to see what they were asking about. They gave me some pay day loan that I still owe, which isn't valid as I have never taken a payday loan..they verified my SS#, and told me what bank account it was for...told me it was from 3 years ago, i asked the last 4 digits of the bank account, which when they gave me, was from a bank from over 10 years ago, but they said it was only 3 years ago; I asked why I have received any paperwork, they said it was sent, gave me address, which again is 10 years old. I told them that the information they are giving me is over 10 years ago, they changed their tune. got aggressive and told i was going to be arrested...i asked for name and company again..he gave it to me. It then told him i live in texas which is a One Party state for recording conversations, and I was recording the conversation and would be sending to the proper authorities. he then hung up. case and point, no actual legal matter will be handled over the phone, and yes in Texas you have the right to record the conversation without letting the other person know, as its a One Party state, which means, I am the one party that needs to know.

So I had a similar story today. Received a call from an "unknown" caller stating that they were contacting me in reference to a legal complaint and that I needed to call the agent handling this matter at 866-274-5813 with a specific reference number. They specified that it was time sensitive and to contact the case manager immediately to avoid further action being taken. I automatically assumed this was a scam based on the no-named caller, but called to see what it was out of curiosity. A receptionist answered the line and put me in contact with Mark Schultz who works for Bloomberg, Migoney, Meyers, and Associates out of San Diego. Apparently, they are a collection agency, though at first he said he was a law firm, handling a debt from Wells Fargo. I asked what the debt was and from when, and he replied that it was for an overdrawn checking account that I had that was sold to the collection agency in September of 2008. I did, in fact, have a checking account with Wells Fargo when I was in high school many years ago, but I do remember closing it before I moved into my first apartment (I think well before that) because my university did not have a Wells Fargo in town; however, I legitimately do not remember closing it with any kind of delinquency.

Allegedly, the debt was passed around to 3 different creditors and I was sent a written notice about the debt 45 days ago. He claimed it was sent to the address I lived at when I last had the debt, but it was an address I didn't live at until 2010. He went on attempting to legitimize himself by reading off the last 4 of my social security number and other accounts on my credit report. That's when I got freaked out--the man had my personal information. After he said he was willing to settle for a lesser amount ($600 verse the $1134) I asked him to send me an email regarding the validation of the debt, but he was unwilling to send it without an agreement of settlement, which I refused to say over the phone. He said that he was filing my account as failure to pay and that I should wait for civil action to take place. He even referenced my credit report, saying that I had nearly perfect credit and that him making these inquiries was "already hurting my credit" and that I should check my credit report if I didn't believe him. I smelled the scared tactics a mile away.

I got off of the phone and immediately called Wells Fargo Fraud Department. They put me in contact with a couple of different debt collectors that validated that my Wells Fargo account was actually closed in 2005 with no notes of delinquency or being sold to a creditor. After that, I called a local law firm from my resident state and briefly discussed my story. In a nutshell, the information that was passed to me under several FDCPA 807 and 809 federal laws, was the false threats to bring civil action to me after the expiration of the state's statute of limitations (which in my state is 6 years..) is illegal. Also, that they are required to send a dunning/validation notice in writing to me within 5 days of contact.

So first a foremost, when Mark refused to send me any validation of the debt before agreeing to a settlement price was a red flag. Also, when he said that I should expect to be served if I do not accept the settlement for a debt that is nearly 10 years old (but actually on an account that was closed 13 years ago...) also a red flag. Lastly, when he threatened to ruin my credit if I didn't settle in a timely manner, also a red flag. I immediately pulled all three of my credit reports after that. The soft inquiries that I pulled from the bureaus came up, but nothing from his agency, as he proclaimed.

I decided to call Mark back up once I had this gouge. I said I wanted a certified letter requesting validation of my debt and he said that he didn't have my case anymore. That it was out of his hands and I should expect to hear back if the agency decided to take legal action (which why would they spend court fees on such a minimal piece of debt?). I told him my address was wrong the first time, so how am I going to find that out? Again, he didn't have a clear answer. I threw the FDCPA laws at him and stated that I spoke to a lawyer and what he was saying about civil action was illegal. His response was that if the case was so far outside of the SOL that I could easily fight it in court, especially with my "lawyer." I then asked him which collectors owned my debt, and he stated Wells Fargo..instead of his agency. I asked for his agency's name and address and stated that Wells Fargo validated that I closed my account in 2005. At this point, he said all I needed to do was fax over the validation letter and he was sorry for causing all of the stress.

The fax number is the same as yours above: 800-889-0390.
Address:
Bloomberg, Migoney, Meyers, and Associates
351 10th Ave, Suite 1000
San Diego, CA 92103

...except, I just moved from San Diego after 4 years. That address is actually a 92101 address. So that is a fraud as well. The dude is a smooth talker.. I will give him credit for that. No doubts he could have been a creditor. However, this whole situation is fishy. I am reporting it in as many places as I can.

I got 4 calls from (219)318-1200 today alone. All of the calls are telling me that there is pending legal action for "several" claims against me. I have the right to contact the "claimant" from the same number from which this company called:
"This message is intended for (my name). I received an order in my office today to complete an order for several pending matters that you are currently being investigated for. I will be verifying your current address and place of employment today. In the meantime, it is your responsibility and legal right to contact the claimant prior to being served. Their number is 219-318-1200. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of your right to dispute this matter and a complaint will be filed against you in your local jurisdiction. (set of numbers). Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of your right to dispute this matter and a complaint will be filed against you in your local county. This is your official notification."

Of note, the number of the claimant is the same as the number that called me. Half of the message was read by a real person while the rest (my name, the phone number etc.) were from a robot.

Although I block the numbers, they keep popping up from different places.

Scammers are dumb, i swear. I got the call first from some lady that said if i knew this individual ( it was my bf) because i was put as a reference. Then when i said no, she still went ahead and asked if i would like to send the message for him. Lol! I went about with it and got the number and she gave me a reference number. She told me it’s going to be a final notification and that he is summoned to court. I asked what law firm. So after i hanged up, i looked up the law firm, NO SUCH THING! Doesn’t even exist! So then, my bf got the same call and and they asked if he knew this person (himself) and my bf said no. But the lady asked if he still lived on that address she provided and then my bf hanged up. So, few hours later she goes and texted me & my bf. Telling us that it is final notification and she will serve us because they know our address AFTER the fact that we said we didn’t know who it was. Lol! Then now, i got home and they called my mom asking for him again but my mom said no & hanged up. Lol! They never gonna stop!!

8 phones calls. i block each one and they call from Miami Beach with different number. telling me I'm going to jail. they say there are Attorneys. I am an Attorney so I know if a scam.

Same story. Except an actual creditor pulled my report in 2016. Before breach. And there was no debt. So maybe that company, dynamic recovery solutions is linked. They claimed to have owned debt. Never had debt though. And scammers some how got THEIR info. on fake debt. Scammers are Brandt Group Inc out of LA. Also used name MSM Assets. Who supposedly sold debt to Brandt. But DRS says THEY own it. Too bad fake, or real for that matter, debt can't be tracked.

I live in Omaha, Ne but my phone number is from Oklahoma City. I can usually tell scammers and telemarketers bc they use the area code of the phone they are calling so if I get any 405 area code calls it's a scam or sales.

One called me today from "Schmidt and Associates" saying that I need to be home tomorrow between 10-2 to "receive legal documents". I called them back three times. One time they said they were from Smith and Associates, second they were from Schmidt and Associates and the third time they hung up on me.

So not be bullied.

I received a message left on my cell phone on May 11,2018 from a Company that call themselves Capital Reassurance.

You can find the message that was left below;

This message is solely intended for (mention my name}. Our mediation Department at Capital Reasurance has received a pending complaint naming you as the respondent. It is imperative that you contact our mediation Department to provide a statement at 931-225-1030 Reference file number xxxxxxx.

I got a call from a company called capital reassurance and told me I owe on an old pay day loan but could not tell me which company just said that they work with many pay day loan company's but threatened that they would sue. Does this seem legit?

If a debt collector calls about a debt, before you agree to pay anything, ask for a written proof that states how you owe, who you owe money to,  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. Read more about warning signs of a fake debt collector.

Received a call yesterday from an unknown number. When I answered, they asked if I knew ______ and if I could have him call them at 866-295-7972, phone number for Mark Roberts and F&M Capital. She claimed they are a law firm but they are a collections agency. I called the number and spoke with a man working in the office of Mark Roberts. At first he was calm but as time went on he became more frustrated and threatening. He claimed that notices had been sent to my friend several times at a certain address (friend hasn't lived there in years). I asked how they got my phone number, and they claimed to have run a background check on my friend and got my info that way. The only thing I can think of is they checked his facebook account and found me that way, as we are not legally bound in any way. The man claimed the phone number they have for my friend doesn't work. I find it hard to believe that they could get my correct info, yet can't get my friend's phone number or current address. They have also called his mom and ex-wife. They claim it is a military loan that he defaulted on, and they are looking to charge thousands in interest and want to claim he defrauded the government and he is in possession of stolen property (loan was used to pay for furniture apparently, I told them he doesn't have the furniture). I kept repeating to them that they needed to send him notice of all of this and that by law they need to validate the debt. He was insulting and said "this isn't some Discover credit card, this is a military loan and he is violating UCMJ" The man stated that they would be filing a case by the end of the day. Because I kept repeating that they need to mail him the information, the man said he was tired with arguing and I hung up the phone.

I looked up F&M Capital and it appears they are Fenton & McGarvey and there are many complaints on them.

They called my friend's mom about 2 months ago with the same claims about filing in court and it would be filed by the end of the day. The man I spoke to claimed it was new, and when I told him I knew they had called before, he said it wasn't new.

I am not sure how my friend can get this taken care of. They seem reluctant to mail anything.

I received so many texts and calls from family and friends about a supposed account I had with a company that is seeking to file a formal complaint in a county I haven't lived at in years. This exact number, a different person, but same company. All in regards to some furniture, stolen goods and fraudulent services rendered. They are trying to fish information about me for identity theft. They haven't contacted me directly by phone, email, or by mail, and when I confronted them, they attempted to keep stating that I will be charged and blah blah blah. It's all bogus.

I had a call from Mark Roberts at F&M today. They have a robocall that calls all day. He said it's from a bed I supposedly didn't finish paying off 10 years ago! He said I was being sued for theft of goods/property. I didn't know until today, they've been calling my mom with the same robocalls for months now. He told me I had a sarcastic attitude.

Trying to find out if Carter & Assoc. is a legit law office in TX. I'm in SC. "David Hampton" has called me numerous times about an old bank account that supposedly was overdrawn 10 years ago, and now I owe a bunch of money to clear it. The bank merged 11 years ago with that bank & my bank says they have no record of this overdrawn account or a charged off account.

I received a call from Capital Reassurance regarding a payday loan that was owed. I asked the gentleman to please provide me with something in the mail so that I could verify this was true. He stated that something was mailed to an address where I have not lived in over 5 years and that it was my problem because I didn't update my information, so it needed to be handled now and that they cant mail anything. He immediately got really nasty and threatened with the courts. He transferred me to someone to set up a payment arrangement and I did. I gave them my card information and they were going to take 100, 150 then another 150 later in July (which was dumb on my part). The email that they sent to me did not seem legit. After Googling all company names used (Capital Reassurance, Web loan, Garret & Associates) nothing was adding up. Everything that was popping up was scam alert or nothing was coming up at all and not to mention the address that was on the email was a medical office in Florida. After not feeling good about the situation I called my bank and immediately had them deactivate my card and send me a new one.

I have gotten calls from 3 different states about bogus debts of my deceased husband. Also, they are harassing other members of my family.

Keep getting calls from 410 306 5975
Over a time barred debit. Limitations here is 6 years it’s been nearly 9. I have told them this. They refuse to give a fax number or an address. Had a lawyer call them same thing refused to provide and address . Every 2 weeks the number changes. I have contacted bbb fct fcc Clark Howard in Atlanta for advice and no one cares .
These people keel leaving voice mails regarding a faxed in complaint and that I need to be served at work or home. They call my relatives and leave this message as well.

This company has been harassing me for a while now. The name of the supposedly company is Capitol Reassurance.. I have been scammed before by people from over seas like India and it was stressful. Ever since that happened to me I started to look up numbers on google and have seen that other people have dealt with the same thing about getting harassing calls from the number.. The number that has been calling me is a ‭1 (334) 557-1883‬. Again when I looked up this number on google I have seen people report it on 1800 notes. I looked up the company by name and I have not seen anything with that companies name or anything.. so have just seen is Capitol LLC I guess a fake personation of a law firm and thats it.. What I did do was registered the number on the national do not call list and wrote on comment on this “company” calling me everyday and leaving me voicemails saying my name with a automated voice and then a regular person says that I am the respondent of a claim or I have a pending compliant against me.. I even blocked this number from calling me on my iPhone but they still have a way of still contacting me from another number and it’s really getting annoying!..

Very similar to va8790's story. I received a call from a Restricted number who gave me a number (888-383-0821) and reference number. I called and gave them my reference number and was connected to the "Legal Department" of Bloomberg, Migoney, Meyers, and Associates, which from what I could tell after searching the web is that these guys don't even exist (anymore or ever, idk). I spoke to a guy named Mark Schultz as well but told him I refused to pay anything to him because I had already taken care of matter (Overdrafted Wachovia account from 9 years ago). He did have the last 4 of my social and the address I lived in 9 years ago when I opened that account. While I was on the phone I had pulled up my receipt from the real law firm that I had closed the account with over a year ago. He told me to fax him at 800-889-0390 the receipt and he would close my account.

I got off the phone with him and called the real law firm I had closed the account with and they told me that I wasn't the first one to call them and report this as they had other reports of Wachovia accounts being called in a similar fashion. They assured that case and account was closed and not to respond to Mark Schultz. The law firm is going to reach out to Wachovia and inform them that people are trying to collect on their old accounts.

Hope this helps. Again, very close to va8790's story. Don't fall for it, Mark sounds legit, but don't do anything unless you get official documentation.

I’m getting a robo call from a 518-504-7513 something about charges on my name if finally had enough and some lady with a foreign name answered the phone ( hello) I asked who I was speaking with and said I would like to know who putting charges on my name I never got a response but I could here a mans voice in the background speaking in similar foreign tounge bet never got a response I’m thinking it’s a scam and may have put myself at risk for scamming not sure what to do

Received a call from an unknown number, stating they tried to mail me documents which were returned undelivered. I just had a baby so I thought maybe it’s her birth certificate.. So I asked what address it was, woman recited my address with one digit off. She provided a phone number & case number for me to reach the people mailing the documents. ‭(888) 585-6356‬
So I call and I get connected with a woman named Angel. She recited my name, last four of my SS# and other information. She stated that I have an outstanding debt through Wells Fargo and I would be sued for over $3500 if I could not agree to make a payment of $357, or three monthly payments of $219. I asked her what address she had on file for me and she gave me my current address, correctly. Thought that was funny. I had her email me the document and no surprise, it’s bull. They send an agreement letter “via DocuSign” which isn’t even legit, won’t open up in my DocuSign app. The letter is signed by a Michael Rothwell. From R & R Group out of 1055 West 7th Street in Los Angeles, CA. There’s a fax number listed as (213) 418-2835. I hope no one falls victim to this scam.

I have a case opened against me in court regarding a debt, hearing date no one showed up because a summons was never issued on me, and now i am receiving a letter from another attorneys office saying they took over the case but it does not show as such on line. could it be legit?

It's important to pay attention to legal notices. You could contact the lawyers to get more information about what they are doing with your case, or contact a clerk at the court where you were recently to find out what is happening with your case.

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