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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
Scam Tags:  Debt & Credit Scams


After a federal background check was run on me, for a federal job, I started received mail and debt collection notices from Fenton & McGarvey. Later I discovered thru Facebook that a lady in my office was a friend to an F&M employee. I don't know if my personal information was sold , or if my info was sent by the gossip grapevine, but I'm thinking about filing a complaint, because F&M used unethical methods to track me down after I was hired at the Census Bureau

Received a letter on 2/9/19 from Pacific Legal Group complaining I have "Notification of Lawsuit Filing and Civil Complaint" from Advance America for $1,060.07 which will be due on 2/15/19 if not received by that date I would be served a summon and aggressively enforced of the lawsuit. Letter also contain that I be sue for NSF fraud, and the letter was also sent to my local County Courthouse in Municipal Court which was supposedly happen on 2/1/19. I have contacted Advance America myself and talked and told them about this letter and ask them if I ever had a loan through them, their reply was no. I have also contacted my lawyer about this letter and he told that the is a scam. When 2/15/19 came I got a text message the same day at 12:10 pm from Pacific Legal Group tell me "We recently notified you by US mail that a lawsuit has been filed against you regarding your severely past due account with ADVANCE AMERICA. After a recent case management conference, we are extending for a out-of-court settlement onetime payment of $295 this settlement must be made absolutely no later than 2/22/19 you can make a payment over the phone at 888-273-2828 or online at www. pacificlegal. net. As of 2/23/19 I didn't make no payment because I know this is a scam. I have contacted several law enforcements including the District Attorney's Office told me that this is scam. I was never given any other letter previously nor no phone calls just this letter. So I am going from what Advance America, my lawyer and the District Attorney Detective told me instead of that letter and text from them.

I am currently getting calls from Cox and Associates- said a complaint was filed against me because I took out a payday loan on 10/4/2013. They could not tell me where. They said it was a short term loan for 580.00. I asked why haven't they sent me a notice in the mail? The lady I was speaking to said she could not send me anything.
This place had the last four digits of my of my social security number, my email address, and my old address.
They are using the number 1-844-878-4906
How do we stop this from happening?

My elderly father and and brother in law keep getting phone calls from different numbers but the same person saying they are looking for me and I owe money. They ask them for my birthdate and social security number. Won’t give a name but said they are with “the firm”. I also received a phone call from the “IRS” saying they were arresting me that day for tax fraud if I didn’t pay. When I asked the guy with the foreign accent what his badge or if number was he became very vulgar. When I asked how many time he has gotten away with this he said with everyone except me. He was extremely vulgar, sexual, threatening, and even laughed when I told him I knew he wasn’t from America. When I told him I was calling authorities, his response was “good luck finding me” as he laughed. Is there nothing that can be done about these phone calls.. there is no telling how much money these people are making off of their innocent victims.

Two family members received call from Capital Reassurance Mediation Department - 970-698-9023 regarding someone other that the person associated with the cell phone number. When we called back they hung up when we wouldn't give them personal information. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION, NOT EVEN YOUR PHONE NUMBER AS THEY ARE RANDOMLY CHOOSING NUMBERS.

I kept getting “unknown calls” on my phone decided to finally answer and it was a lady saying she was with the county processing service and had papers ready for me to be sued. She claimed not to know the details but gave me a case# and to call 888-817-9323. I did and found out they had a claim for a credit card in 2007 that’s right 12 years ago and they said I could go to civil court and it could amount to over $2500 for a $1200 claim they had. This was something I paid for in 2010 for $482. He said he was from Hudson and Rosmoor and was calling from Compton, CA and they represented Guaranteed Asset Servives who held the note. Looking up both neither name came up. I told him send me a letter. ( They have to within 5 days) What’s troubling is about two years ago I got a call about the same matter and they used different names for companies involved. I did get the guy to send me something email and that had an address which I traced later to a Mail Box Etc with the same address in Southern Ca. These people are nothing but thieves.

Hey Ben,

I just got an exact same call from them about an old credit card from 2007 that was closed in 2010. First it was a private blocked number saying she was from the county office serving me papers for a lawsuit. I asked what and who was serving, and she said the same thing, only gave me a phone # and case #. I called and spoke to some guy Luis from Hudson & Rossmore Law. He said he sent a letter, but he sent to an old office. He then emailed me an docusign letter for me to pay a balance that I took care almost 10 years ago. The thing is that I don't have any records/proof because it was so long ago and I purged old receipts, etc.

What has happened so far in you situation? Did anyone ever show up to serve you papers?

Hudson Rossmoor people called about 2 months ago now they are back at it gave me number to call them of 833-310-1523 so far this time just me but pervious times other people with same last name including a sister in fl.

My younger brother had a voicemail from them. I'm an attorney and searched, found nothing, called the (833)310-1523 number, a male answered the phone, sounded about mid 20's. I wouldn't tell him my name so he got really unprofessional and I ended up yelling at him and he was threatening to sue me etc. etc. Long story short, the guy on the phone (American, California accent) searched the number I called from, read my name to me, and threatened to file charges if I keep calling. I think we need a reverse caller scam group that calls these numbers to blow off steam on these guys ;D. I don't get heated very often, but jeez, this guy was horrible. We'll see if I can't track them down.

Joe what ever happened with these people? I got a call yesterday from Unknown number same thing claim number and trying serve me blah and I never gave my name she said they attempted to serve me at an address I lived at 13 years ago! She then said I needed to call Hudson and Rossmore at (833) 802-6566 within 24 hours. I know some of these people that buy old debt can proceed in court. They never stated what this is for and not sure I want to call to be screamed or threatened too. What was the outcome with your brother or anyone on here with these scam artists Hudson and Rossmore. Would love any advice


I am getting calls from a DAP & Associates about a legal complaint under my name, started first couple of times as Tiffany Norris, then the last time as James Ballman. The number they tried to contact me is (866) 680-8540. I have had this kind of call before, and I already know its totally fake, just want these stupid calls to stop.

Can a debt collection for mail u a letter using a law firms letterhead that hasn't even looked at the case they do state at the bottom they are not a lawyer but that still doesn't seem like that should be write. That is a scare tactic.

This is happening to my father right now. someone is pretending to be a law firm in NC. We have asked them for their bar ID and they say they can't provide it because it's tied to their bank account. Total BS! They are fraud. Don't fall for scams from Logan & Bradley Acquisitions!

I had people go to my place of work from Malleken & Associates and the HR dept called me with the phone number and ref. #. Is this legal? When I called back they had my full social security number. The number they left was 866-810-5889. I called a second time to ask for their address and they refused to provide it to me. This is ridiculous! Should I call my employer and let them know it is a scam?

I recieved a call from Melleken & Associates also. Very aggressive, claiming they are trying to serve me a petition. Several conversations, I requested debt validation, no answer. I also asked for their mailing address so I could respond in writing, return receipt and they refused to give it to me. Representative's name was Bryan Paulson, allegedly. 888.242.9257. All signs point to a scam.

I received a call from a gentleman who indicated that he had a confidential envelope from the "courts" to deliver to me at my current home address. He indicated that he was required to make 2 attempts to deliver the package to me and then the courts would take over from there. He used the Goldstein Weiss law firm name and a phone #877-205-6005 along with a case #. It sounds like they have moved on from debt collecting to trying to make a person think that there is a lawsuit pending etc. I will report my incident in the FTC database since it is not directly related to debt collection.

I just received a call from a guy claiming to be Luis Robles of Hudson Rossmore Law Group wanting to serve my mother over something and wanting me to find out why she wasn’t around to receive the documents. I was given a case # and everything...I expressed my skepticism and he got belligerent bad-mouthing my mother and me. I asked him to quit calling and he said he’d stop calling me but they “will still go after her and make her pay”. Just filed an FTC complaint with the info....please catch these dirt bags.

I was called on the phone by a man who said, he was from Atex. He told me someone would serve me a summons or paper work on Thursday, and the date, but I was really nervous, so I didnt get the date. He didnt give me any details, but kinda got upset when I told him I might not be home. I have no idea what it could be for. I called the number back and got a lady, and she said, she would check for me. She came back on the phone and said, it must of went forward, that there was no information on me. Help??? I dont know what it could be!!

Get calls all the time about debts I dont know about just got one today with a court case number but nothing else no amount or who I am suppose to owe just a number to call

Blocked number from a girl named Lori, pretending to be from a company called "premier legal support". They threaten to deliver legal papers to your office unless you call 888-665-4968 and 888-454-2343 give a " case number". They use new numbers every week to have you call them back at. She also told me over the phone that she knew where i worked and what my address was and that they were going to do and "investigation" for their client for my assets and banking info if i didn't call them back! Then, when you call the 888 number, its some guy that answers and says he's with Shapiro and Assoc and its nothing more than extortionists trying to phish to get your personal info. He actually hung up on me because i wouldn't give my name or info, and i blocked my phone number. Its been so bad with them calling me at work and harassing me, that i had to file a complaint with local law enforcement. They are calling my husbands number non stop as well. Something needs to done about all of this

I keep getting similar calls everyday and they block their number so I can’t see but give me a number to call and a “case number.” At first it was a lady and now it’s just a foreign guy named Carl or Collin. Has a heavy Asian/Indian accent. Idk I can’t understand half of what he’s saying. I have trapcall which shows you the unknown number’s number. He calls from a totally different number 888-212-8455 and the number he leaves to call back is 844-847-8250. I have looked up theses number and no company is associated with these numbers. He also says he’s with lcs or legal courier/carrier services (which is a job title not a company name lol) and doesn’t say the firms name just refers to “filing firm”. I’ve filled a complaint with CFPB. I’ve downloaded RoboKiller and debating if I want to unblock their number and have a little fun with it lol.

Has anyone gotten a call from T and A with a phone number from LA?

I received a call from 888-691-9954. Notified me of a debt I supposedly had. I'm an accountant so knew it was immediately false. Only reason I answered was because they contacted family members. Anyway they told me to pay by visa or CC. I told them no one would give me a debit card or credit card because my credit is so bad, but I could pay with my girlfriend's checkbook. I asked who I should make the check out to, but they did not fall for that and hung up. I haven't heard back since. It's a terrible scam so please update any info founded. Even if they are a fraud company they have to follow debt collectors rules or they can be sued. If anyone can find any legit contact info its a start to suing them.

How do they get family's information?

Yesterday my fiancé received a call from someone claiming he was a lawyer and gave him personal information, stated he owed over 3,000 and could end up in jail if not paid. my fiancé thought he was legit so he went on and proceeded, he agreed to work out a payment. He paid 100 as a down payment , we have a joint account, the money was taken from T & E counsel. We called our bank right away after we received another phone call from the same person calling back to get my fiancé to sign a contract , at that moment the iPhone detected it was “scam likely “. We haven’t gotten our 100 back , but the guy stopped calling after he realized we had called our bank to cancel payment.

A company named Gateway Legal Services is calling my step-son's grandmother saying they have a claim against my son with the court here in town. They gave a reference number and to call 1-855-695-3756. I called the number and someone said they were a paralegal with the company and needed a reference number to look up the case. I didn't give them any information, said I was just checking for a friend who was calling, and why. He said it was in regards to a claim against my friend. I said ok and hung up. I checked with the district court and no case has been filed against my son. What is going on?

I received an email on how I need to pay a debt with a case number . No written letter an email only . Is this legal?

Debt collectors can call you, or send letters, emails, or text messages to collect a debt.

Read more questions & answers about debt collection.

A close friend of mine received a call from this number today 1-877-862-9621. Even after blocking the numbers this NELSON BROWN always seems to call from a different number. NELSON BROWN claims he works for Dynamic Dedicated Financial Partnerships llc in Carrollton, Texas. This guy is claiming payment for a loan that was asked for about 10 years ago. After being asked to mail paperwork where it will help my friend understand more about this loan she is not familiar with Nelson Brown keeps insisting that he already sent out letters and that he doesn’t have to do so anymore because “ he doesn’t have to send out anything and because it cost money” So there I am repeating the same thing over and over again trying to get it through his head that no agreement will be taken until this ligimate letter is sent through mail Nelson Brown became frustrated and threatened that legal actions would be taken if he does not receive the money. This is very frustrating because my friend sufffers from anxiety and depression and tends to always give people what they want thinking they will leave her alone. she is a nervous wreck thinking she will face legal consequences because of this “ suppose loan” that she is unsure of. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

My brother in Maine got a call from 207-250-4697 saying they were trying to get in touch with me about mediation. I do no need any mediation. I have nothing against me. I have never lived in Maine. I live in TN. Can someone there please see who these people are that are harrassing me and my brother.

I have been receiving the same scam call about a supposed unpaid medical bill from 2007. The guy said if I didn't pay off $1007.42 (oddly specific) then I would be served with a lawsuit the next day. I told them to go ahead and sue me and he hung up. And what da ya know I wasn't served or sued! BUT that has not stopped their incessant calling, and now they are calling my family members. Luckily their numbers are coming up as Scam Likely on caller id on most of my families phones. Sheesh, how do you stop them from calling? Blocking doesn't seem to work they just change their 1-800 number. Such a violation.

Got a voice mail from Kylee Johnson 877 350 5017 ext 116. Stating that their is some judgements against me before a warrant is issued than they called my brother threaten him. This is American Elite I left a very profane language that if they ever call again they will see a real court house with real lawyers

The yesterday I recieved a message on a business line at work. Stating I need to call back they were special investigator Swan Davis investigating a fraud case. I figured maybe it was about one of our students or someone trying to get information. I called the cell phone number I looked it up on reverse White pages. It went straight to voicemail. I left a message stating sorry I can't release any information with out proper documentation. So today same number called stating. Returning your call about a fraud case on my voicemail. I called the number back and the lady answered. She tells me the case is about you. She states I am hired by capital litigations and we are giving you a courtesy call before we have you arrested for fraud for not paying a payday loan in 2014. And we have contacted your hr department and we are going to notify them of your arrest. And someone in your position does not want that. And I said I never taken out a loan. They kept trying to get me to pay amount. I asked for a written notification of this debt. They stated it's too late for that and we are about to process this in the state of md if you pay 275.00 we will drop all charges. I said I will call my HR department and my attorney. Because I don't owe a debt. She said you are going to be arrested and bail is 5000.00. I said do what you got to do. She said their firm was representing Northstar lending. I called my hr department and assured me that things don't happen this way and it was a scam. I looked up and there is no one called Capitol litigations but I found blogs on a scammer using this in 2011. They also tried this with my mom a few years ago calling about me.i pulled my credit report and nothing is on there.

I got an email from Jefferson Associates and Law Firm stating that I took a loan out from Speedy Cash (Adv. America) but I’ve never taken a loan out in my life. I’m wondering if anyone has any info or has been contacted by the same firm before or not. I’m not sure if it’s fake or fraudulent or if there’s any action I should take. I’ve never dealt with this before, and I know it may sound silly to ask. I’d appreciate it’s though.

They are still calling and harassing me, two days in a row. They are a " Legal" organization calling me trying to confirm the information on one of my family members.

I simply asked them, "what does my family members legal matter have to do with me". They don't have an answer because there isn't one. These people are rude, and I been called them back from my business phone system so the calls are recorded from my end. I have the names of each person I spoke with and the one representative (Nicole) specifically went against my wishes and called me two days in a row, after I told her to remove my number from their database. Thus needs to stop!

My mom, my sister and now a friend I haven't talked to in FIFTEEN years have gotten these calls... 213-500-1084 is the number and I called back for them to tell me they are a financial mitigation company... They called 5 times in a row from me hanging up on them... HARASSMENT. You can't go to jail for not paying bills... You will still have the bill if you get served and don't show up... Nothing changes at all.

Received a threatening call this morning at 7am from someone claiming to have a judgement against me. They called from an unknown number and said they were from Jacobs and Associates. I let them know I didn’t have any debt and to stop calling me. The woman proceeded to yell that she was going “send me back to where I came from” I have never been so offended in my life. For the record I am an American, have zero accent. I don’t know why she would say that. She also proceeded to tell me she was going to take away my house and my life. These people are harassing me. I literally have an amazing credit score and no debt. I’m frustrated that they keep calling. I have blocked unknown numbers but sometimes a scrabbles number comes up. I just don’t answer. I wish I could track them down to report them.

I received a voicemail from some woman named Michelle from Jacob and Allen Associates today. She also left a message on my mothers voicemail saying she was looking for me. On both messages she says ““Hi this message is for _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ my name is _Michelle I work in the customer support department working in conjunction with the _county clerks⁠_ office I'm calling regarding a judgment order process against you if you have any questions or concerns please contact _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ Jacob and Allen Associates _ area code 210-346-8977 Please reference case number ———-thank you and have a good day…”
The fact that she gave that information up to not just me but also a family member seems like it would be bogus. Isn’t it illegal for a debt collector to tell a family member why they’re calling without being prompted?
My credit report shows no such debt and my score is really good. Any bad debt I would have had is 10 or more years old. I paid off any old debts prior to buying my house last year.
I googled Jacob and Allen Associates and came up blank. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem legit to me.

I received a letter some months ago about a credit card debt that I owe. In the letter there were different options for me to choose in order to resolve the debt. I paid monthly however I am now receiving a new letter from another law firm about the same debt. Now they are charging more. I feel like the first letter might have been a scam but I would like to speak with someone in regards to this. I don't know what to do next and who to trust.

We have been getting calls being harassed by unknown caller for a debt that the statute of limitations has run out on. Telling us we owe $7200.00 about 12 times as much as the original debt on a Walmart credit card. Saying they are going to send a process server. In the County where we live all civil litigation service is handled by the Country Sheriff’s office. I know this for a fact I have had to file a suit against a creditor after an accident where they took more than they were supposed to after a accident. Anyhow I tried to explain this to them they got very rude threatening and nasty. This was a very old written off debt sent to collections over 9 years ago. My wife’s debt not mine . They even gave me all the supposed information they never gotten permission to speak with me about this debt from my wife. The calls continue to come in I don’t answer or I pick up then never say a word until they hang up. This needs to stop.

They’re taking this way too far! They had an old work address and called me on my phone as if the County of L.A. was looking to serve me. First of all the city doesn’t call you before they serve you court papers. Why? The know where you live and where you work. The ‘County’ gave me the number to the attorney that was trying to serve me . I called them and they said they were suing me to collect a debt from a Wells Fargo credit card used from 2006 to 2009. I’ve never had a Wells Fargo credit card and if I did, this so called ‘balance’ I owed would be charged off already. PLUS, I know for a fact, this isn’t on my credit report. I guess I’ll wait to be served..... ha!!!

This company called repeatedly using a robo to read a lengthy script for someone not even at this phone number. I pressed and held the # key down during one of these recordings and it put me on hold with a receptionist soon answering and identifying her company as TRISTAR LEGAL FIRM. When I asked her to put me on her do not call list, she said she wouldn't waste her time doing that and hung up on me. Phone number on caller id was 855-201-1512

Got a call from TRISTAR LEGAL PROCESSING. A Nikki Baxter (Sounded like a man for half the robo call) She said I was being summoned for fraud and deception of a credit card from 2013 with HSBC. We have never had an HSBC account. A Miss IVY SIMPSON called and said to call her at 855-219-6794 x108.(She also gave a made up case number) I called and when I started asking questions she hung up. I called back and she said that if i didn't pay 50% of the 6472.00 by 5:00 they were sending a process locator to serve me a summons. I said ok then she said she would call my work. She had all my info, ss#. She said I would also get my drivers license suspended if i didn't pay. I told her I knew she was scamming me and she got mad and stared being very threatening and harassing

received a letter from Imperial Law group saying similar things that I owed debt for NSA with Checkmate. Haven't done payday loan in over 8 years. Know that I took care of it before I stopped using their service. Now I receive this letter and has link to their website. I didn't call them just responded to through their message portal. Haven't gotten a response. It has passed the due date and when I look at their website and put in the case information it has my ss# and home address. It says my case is being processed in court and to pay right away. I sent information to FTC and Attorney General. AG sent request for more information from them. When I look at their physical address in google maps it shows a post office building. Not sure what to believe here.

8553353482 keeps calling saying they have fax documents for my husband. When I called back before nobody answered. Today a lady finally answered but said nobody was available and I need to quit calling after hours. I told her this was the first call today. She said I have been trying to leave for the day and you ha e kept calling so I answered. I said ive only called this once. She said no, you have called 3 times, if thats all you need then goodbye. And she hung up on me. I did get out of her she is supposedly with Tristar Legal Services. I feel this is a scam. My sister-in-law, son, husband and myself have all gotten the same call with no answers to why.

Thank you for this. Today I received a call from an unknown caller stating that they were trying to serve me legal papers. I was confused and called the number that they gave me for 'the issuing attorney' Hudson & Rossmoore 1-833-637-1711. Long story short, they said to call 1-800-432-3117 (supposedly Chase Visa) to pay a debt with CHASE from 2010 or they would serve me legal papers this week. I told them that this was not my debt and that there's a statue of limitation in California for lawsuits regarding debts. They said that Chase had some clause in their contract that it did not apply to and to call that number and ask for the charge off department to settle. I contacted my own attorney immediately and it was confirmed that this is a SCAM. Please be aware. They were VERY persuasive and charismatic, and they had brought up a debt that I had already paid off back in 2013. They had just enough info to almost be convincing. BEWARE of these scammers. DO NOT give them any information or money. Their trick was to have me call the different numbers this time and to use a past debt for a Chase account that I had paid off years ago.

Hi I have been getting debts paid off through debt collector agencies and I received a email from a proposed lawyer that states I have four hours to settle up and pay the account in full. I have made all of the payments on time according to the agreements I have with my companies I deal with and now I’m not sure what to do. The email sounds so real but I know it could possibly be a scam as well. I don’t want to be at work and be served or go to jail for not responding to this email. They have all my information that’s what’s more concerning.

I was contacted by a law firm claiming they had a judgement against me for over $2000. They claimed they sent me a notice and there was nothing I could do to keep them from getting their money. They were rude, threatening, and extremely sure of themselves. After some investigation I was assured there was never an account opened at the institution under my name and social security number. These people were determined though to force a payment from me.

These were scammers pretending to be lawyers. Actual debt collection lawyers know the laws. If they're legit, they'll provide you proof in writing that u owe the debt and they will also follow the actual guidelines of debt collection because they know that they can be sued if they don't.


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