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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


I just received a call from sarah Marshall at Premier Legal Support from a restricted number demanding I pay a delivery fee for court documents to be mailed to me. She couldnt tell me what the case involved or even what company was pressing charges. She then informed me if I didn't validate my full social and pay the fee, I would have an arrest warrant out. I have never been in any legal trouble nor do i have anything outstanding, so I promptly hung up. BEWARE!!!

"Carol Mitchel from Davidson and associates have a case in our office for you or your attorney to each out to us or we will take action"so fake they keep leaving voicemails and their phone number leads to a filled mailbox the number is 571-210-6895.

My sister keeps getting calls the person on the other line says they are looking for me and a complaint has been filed and it will be sent to the address, and they say my address, they say is there is no answer they will take further action, the mans voice is very assertive and demanding. then recently same call came to my phone but this time they are asking for my ex sister in law. My sister is now getting text messages and they are asking her to call 866 947-5975. how can we make these calls and text stop.

CNC Debt Collectors have been harassing us. Person says he is Thomas Schmidt 843-836-2054 . It is getting out of hand. We have this person recorded harassing and threatening. Collections +1 (858) 467-7441. Please help.

YOu can report that to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also report to your state Attorney General. Look for your Attorney General on this page.

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

This happens at the same time each year. I will receive multiple calls which are threatening or aggressive telling me that there will be legal action taken against me and that they would be coming to my home with an officer. The names this year are "Michael Powers" and "Larry Ellison."

There is never any postal or email communication, only threatening phone calls either about payday loans that are not mine or federal taxes I do not owe. This year they used the Fax Line of a Police Department that is 60 miles away to make it appear that they were calling from the Police Department or part of the Police Department - how is that not illegal? But the Police Department already knows about the scam and has posted about it on the internet, so a quick search makes it easy to find.

I block these numbers and report these numbers, but it is so easy for these scammers to find new numbers to call with that it just does not matter.

I do not entertain these people, at all. Real debt collectors will send documentation or a letter and whatever company or organization they work for will have SOME form of presence on the internet outside of being reported on scam debt collection forums. My biggest concern is what happens to elderly folks who get calls like this - that are threatening and aggressive - who aren't sure how to look up this information?

GLE & Associates is using a new phone number to scam seniors, 866-217-9390. A woman called my mother-in-law telling her that her grandson was being sued.

I got a call from Nichols group that has a bogus address but has my info on a 8 year old debt I had but this supposed law firm is saying they will sue me if I don't pay up, is this a joke or what ...
Any one out there ever heard of this company because I look them up and I can't find anything on them, no real business info.

I received this email from this law firm but it seems odd because they missed the o in associates lawfirm. patrickassciates @

I wish i seen this before. I keep getting calls since april saying that i owe thousands of dollars and if i dont pay im going to prison. I was terrified and i paid over 5,000 to these people but they never gave me proof they said they sent it but i never received it. Im scared i can go to jail, but at the same time i dont know what im paying too and it seems like they keep calling me monthly with new threats. I have the phone numbers and i even had to send money through walmart to walmart to avoid "fees" as they said. How do i find out if there really is something out there. And how can i report these people. I dont know if its legit or not. I had to send money to western union also which i have a address and name... please help!

The law says a debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” within five days of the first time he contacts you. That written notice must tell you:

  • how much money you owe
  • the name of the creditor you owe it to
  • what to do if you don’t think it’s your debt

A debt collector doesn't have the power to send to jail by himself becuase you owe money.  If somebody calls and threatens you about going to jail because of a debt, or tells you to wire money, he's probably a scammer.

If someone says you have a debt, tell them to send a written validation notice. Get his name, company name, address, and telephone number. If he won't send the validation notice or give you information about the company, don't pay. He's probably a fake.

Read about your debt collection rights.

I received a call today from "HUDSON & ROSSMORE".
They said I owed $946 for a bad check written from my Wells Fargo account back in 2010. The lady Sophia Martinez was very nasty. She was making threats to file charges on me if I did not pay. I asked her for her phone number so I can have my attorney contact them. Well, she gave me a phone number that was not in service. I did some digging. I went to the Wells Fargo Branch and they said I owed them nothing. I came home and did some research on the Law Firm they claim to be calling from. I found several numbers that were posted on this website. I called those numbers and got Sophia Martinez on the phone. I explained to her that I went to Wells Fargo and their was no outstanding debt.
Also, I explained to her that even if I owed the debt, the statue of limitations in California is 4 years. She got belligerent and started taunting. Asking why hasn't my attorney called. I said cause you gave me the wrong number. Well, she hung up on me.
The only thing that concerns me in regards of this, is that they had my personal information all correct. Very scary to think that your personal info is in hands of scammers like this trying to make a buck or two.

I got a call today saying that they had to hear from me today. The number they called from was different from the number they gave. They also gave a case number but I couldn’t find it in the cases online. The numbers were 18886930251 and the number they gave to call was 18332789071. I looked up the numbers but found they were reported as spam.

Loan Recovery Jefferson Associates Law Firm
Date: Sat, Nov 2, 2019 05:31. They keep emailing me wanting me to buy a prepaid visa. Is this a scam?

Received a call from a private number with a voicemail message to contact 844-400-5652 about an important legal matter. This is a debt collector who uses the pull off legal wording as a scare tactic in which is extremely illegal. This is not a legal defense office and violates FDIC REGULATIONS. Be aware

Got a call from an unknown with a voicemail message left. As well as they called my nephew. Supposedly I took a payday loan from a company called Check and Go in 2012 and I was going to be charged with financial fraud. They also threatened to serve a summons on my nephew. They claim that I received a loan from them that was deposited into a Capital One bank account and when they tried to take payments the payments failed. They then stated that I set up payments in 2017 using a visa or mastercard number which also failed. I have never had a Capital One Bank account nor have I ever taken out payday loans from anyone or anywhere. They claim that they are a litigation firm named ARA in Fairfax VA but I cannot find any business listing for them.

exactly what happened to me today, but different bank and dates.

Received a call tonight from a Ron Wilson, call came in as unknown. He left a voicemail In a robot voice using a version well a very messed up version of my maiden name, been married for 18 years. Anyways this is what voicemail says basically my name is RON WILSON I’m going to serve you documents on November 19 from 3-5pm if you do not sign, it will be recorded as a direct refusal and the process will continue with or without you. But you should call us back to reschedule to deliver documents at 530-364-5152 at your earliest convenience. I say go for it dude, lol 1. I didn’t have any credit or credit cards etc before I got married and 2. I think you’ve breached the statue of limitations in my state 3-fold. Knock yourself out.

Ps —people if you get SERVED no one calls you to expect them there, the county you live in will just serve you. 2. Whatever county you live in you can look up civil court records if someone has filed against you it’s public record.

These scammers are getting so ridiculous

I received a call today from an unknown number claiming that I was being served, they ask if I would be home and gave me a old address (which I no longer live at) then I told them "what is this regarding and they gave me another number to call, Attorney's Office, and they even gave me a fake Case number, so i called the number and they guy on the phone said he wasn't a attorney, he was just a administrative assistant. He told me that I owed a debt since 2004 for Chase Bank or Wells Fargo, (it was wired that he didn't know which one) he even had the last 4 of my SSN. Then I asked if he had documents to prove that this was indeed me and he gave me a Chase number to call, which was a phoney number NOT even chase.. I told them that my attorney will contact them and he said "I will see you in court" LOL, DO NOT believe them even if they have your SSN. They need to prove it in writing and have original documents from 2004 with my signature in order for this to be true (WHICH THEY DIDN'T) Then I looked up all the information they gave me and googled the numbers and found that it was all a scam.. Do not give them any information, just say to them that your attorney will contact them.

Hope this helps!

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

I got a call from a Tina Ross on behalf of Stenson and Sons. She claims that I have to file an electronic response if not I will be in contempt. The number she calls from is 833-781-7248. She even gives me a file id number of 1925. I don't know who this people are and what they claim I have to file.

I received a call from this same company by the frmaled calling said her name was Sarah Lewis. If you google the company name the are NOT BBB ACCREDITED, and the address they use belongs to a FedEx location.


We have been threatened and very harassed by these 2 phone numbers 1-844-358-2439 and his name was Kenneth directed us to call his firm at 1-279-972-4096
And we called and they want money we don’t have and threatened us with being sued please help stop them from calling us please we work everyday hard and shouldn’t be threatened

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

A company called first from an CA number then called again from a SC number. The women said there was a civil lawsuit and they were going to send someone to my work to issue my court order. she then stated that I need to call 844-469-5678 and gave me a file number. She would not tell me what it was about. It seems like a scare tactic to get me to call and this practice should be punishable ny law!

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

I googled Lewis and Goldstein, the address that the “Goldstein Litigation” company mailed me from, and this page pops up. No other business Info can be found. When a friend called the offices, the person who answered got belligerent when asked how many people they’d scammed today. Beware folks. And they try to get you to sign contracts thru DocuSign. Meanwhile my brother got the same call on the same day. They trust that you will not do your homework.

I keep getting calls from ‭(844) 793-1304‬ saying they are a private legal firm who don’t do business with the general public but refused to give me their name, where they operate out of, or who they do business with. They threatened me and told me I was wanted for failure to accept a summons for legal documents. Scared me. They put me on hold and then got disconnected. I did some checking. If they were a legitimate legal firm they should have disclosed their name. So I called the number back and of course got a different person and she gave me the whole thing and I demanded to know the name of their firm and where they operated out of. She said I can’t demand anything. I hung up. These people have been harassing me for years. Can’t someone stop them? With the technology we have at our disposal?

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

These people called me a week ago. Came up under SPAM. I filed a FTC complaint. They go under ADT Defenders or P&R Litigations, im sure they had other company names too. They claim their auditing you, they claim your address is unavailable/ or cant locate ( lol ive had the same address for 44 yrs google it! These ppl are genius’) and their going to call your employer.. i welcome them since you can find my address that ive had for 44 yrs! These ppl are a scam!! I think what they do is look up prior debts you paid and try and recollect on them.

Is verity legal group scandalous? I believe it's a scam, in which they claim to based in California.

A so called law firm out of new york is claiming I owe a payday loan..they want me to wire money to a bank of America account.I live in ohio..have you ever heard of a law firm asking for wired money..they can they don't take credit debit cards

Got several calls from a private number, thought it was a job. It turns out it was some random person saying she was going to serve me legal documents today by 3pm didn't say where " just your location". Then gave me a phone number 844 941 0422 law firm with case number. I asked her from what company she says just call that number they will provide me details. Suspicious to me everything I ask no direct answers. Please be aware.

A company named sawyer and associates called said they are in ontario saying i owed a speigal account with first consumer national bank and i never had a speigal account their number is 18779211483

I received a letter in the mail for wage garnishment, they had an employer listed who is actually training me right now. They don’t hire you till you complete the certification process, so there isn’t pay. The wage garnishment amount stated 1,000 a month is going to be taken and there is even a docket number with my counties civil court division. I have never had this debt, and upon calling they said it was from 2007 (a credit card) and the amount owed is 3,000.00. They are a law firm that’s known to mass execute these debts. They sent an electronic communication to my address in 2014. I didn’t live at that address in 2014. Also, they obtained the employers info because they’re a law firm and they have their ways, but refused to tell me how. I don’t understand how they got it, until I asked someone who works for the “employer” “training location”, and she said they did a background check on me. Did they sell my information to the “law firm”, the background check company? Or did the law firm buy my information from them? This is not right! Nor ethical! Pressler law firm, can’t do this, but yet had a docket number and I’m told is already allotted to dock me. Are they a scam?

Number 937-684-4685, called my sister and when I called them they announced themselves as Hudson Rossmoore, then asked if I was counsel. Stated she was not in trouble but please have her call them.

My mother received a call from a Brian Holloway that started that I needed to go into a court room and file a disposition in a matter. Then he left this phone number to call back 855.281.9527 which leads to a company posing as P & R litigation. I called the number back because this really upset my mother and me at the same time then I looke up P and R litigation online and this is the group that followed me here. They are a scam and they are scaring my mother how did they get my mother’s cell phone number and why do they not have my number? This is a complete lie and a mistrust in the law please stop these people because they are violating my civil rights and that of my mother as well. Please fight this company and let me know if this person is legit or if they are a fake company. Thank you, John S HTX

Received a call today on my cell phone form a local number claiming to have received a case to be filed against me and they were coming to my address between 35 tomorrow and if I was not available that I needed to call 214-396-3793 and to considered my self notified of a court case. I called the local number and it was a fax number so I call the other number and they proceeded to tell me about a a case that was going to be filed and if i was not home to sign the paper that it would be an automatic notice to appear and the judge would rule in their favor. They first said it was done and 2016 and when I had explained to them that I was incarcerated at that time they then said well it can go back to 12-24 months.

Originally called from a 855-478-5693 and now they call from an unknown number. They spew out a SSN for whomever they are calling and have case number. I personally don't have bad credit or any judgements, so I know this is false.

I received a call from (833)781-7705 telling me they are a law firm and that there is a law suit been filed against me. I asked her where she was she is in California. She would not give me the name of the company. I was transferred to a Sylvia Mendez. This woman had my social security number telling me she would only give me the information if I answered a few question. If not they would send it to my home. I told her tp hold on so I could call the Federal Trade Commission. The call was disconnected. These people are scammers. They can practice their criminal activity but to have my social security number is troubling.

Today I received a call from a women at work, that said she worked for a courier service. She said I needed to be home to sign for an important lawsuit notice. She asked if I would be home at 9am to sign for document. I told her no, I have to work. She gave me a 813 number to call. I called the number to see what was going on. The company said they were with Wilkens and Associates. They knew my name, date of birth and where I worked. They asked the last 4 digits of my social number. They told me I was in the process of getting sued by St. Lucie Medical Group LLC for a 2009 medical bill. They said if I paid $1185..... and settle debt I would be fine. If I waited, when they take me to court I will have to pay $2009....... She said they will garnish my paychecks. I am so worried because I gave her part of my Social security number. I hope no Fraud or identity theft come from this.

We received a call about a case. They had all my husbands info. He called back and they said someone was using his SS# to purchase items in SOCAL. Then they would send us papers to confirm we are not this person. We have locked credit. They shouldn't be able to get any credit. I am concerned this is a scam.

Has anyone received a call from Skyline? about an Ace payday loan?

I got a call from a lady name Nicole Johnson they called with a blocked / unknown number and said something about court papers and that I should call them back at 855-385-6974? I googled the number and seen nothing under this number even this person? I never bother calling this person back? Is this a scam?
Thank you

Same thing here, just answered a call from a private number and he said would I be home tomorrow to receive legal docs, he never said where he was calling from and I asked him what the papers were and he said he doesn't know that he can't open the packet but to call 855-385-6974 and he gave me some case number. I am worried because my credit isn't great and I do owe some debt collectors but from all the previous comments I've read it sounds like this is a scam or scare tactic.

We've been receiving these "order of process" calls for a few weeks now on our landline, my cell and my wife's cell. First the calls were intended for some weird name I never heard of, but now it's a combination of my last name and my wife's ex-husband's last name. The calls originate from all over the country and the numbers the message says to call vary also. The one constant is the case number, 203822. I just tried calling one of the numbers but blocked mine by dialing *67 first. The man who answered refused to say the name of the company or what their business was unless I told them the case number. I refused because I don't want to tip them off in any way. Here are some of the numbers the calls originated from: 607-203-0854, 505-587-6048, 702-718-7116. Two of the numbers the message said to call were: 304-873-8244 and 307-228-6562. By the way, the message goes on with a threat to contact my place of employment. That should be fun because I'm self-employed.

So I just received a call from a unknown caller and they left me this number ‭(888) 305-0536‬ And a file number to look up my information. They said it was a law firm and that I was going to be summoned to court if I didn’t settle a credit card dating back from 2010-2015 which was sent to an old address I had in 2009. They also said if I went to court i would have to pay $5,000 + or I could settle for $2,000 and make payments. When I tried to ask for them to send me information in the mail he told me it’s already been sent. The Guy also gave me my DOB and social security number and asked to verify if it was me...... so I hung up. I don’t remember a credit card I got that long ago but I’m also scared of getting into trouble. What should I do?

I got a phone call and voicemail from a local number telling me this is a complaint against my sister from a law firm (they did not leave the name of the law firm, only their number) and they left a case number for her to reference when she calls them. I thought it was a scam call and jokingly sent the voicemail to my sister. She responded that she also got the call and she called them back and that she is being sued for not paying a credit card from 2008 and I was called because I co-signed. Mind you, in 2008, I was in the 8th grade, but they told her the address we were living at in 2008, her SSN, and her current state ID driver's license number that was used (in 2008 she lived in a different state). I tried to look up the numbers that were given and called from, and I could not find anything on the internet. Could this be legit or even identity theft?

These people keep calling me from a legitmate law firms office number but its not the actual law office calling. These people are trying to "collect a debt" but each time I ask for a written statement to validate the debt and send money in, they state they need the entire amount and cannot wait for a payment. I told them they were not legitimate. They proceed to threaten me with calling the sheriffs dept. And even threatening law enforcement to come to my work. They've called people Im associated with including best friends, co workers, and even my work place. Number one, a debt collector cannot call a business place threatening things like that. Im not stupid. I told them to send the law because I wanted to turn them in for fraudulent activities. Funny...cause Ive yet to see anyone at work or at home.

I received a call from a 754-240-9147 number for the last who days and they left a voicemail saying they is complaint against me and I need do some actions right away if not they have a case against me and the case number also and on the I need to call a different number it’s an 888-315-8536 that I need to and they a case number too. Is this or what today I another on the same the 754 number that I have only 24 hrs to answer or they will do the necessary actions against me they said and what me to call this 888 315 8536 again with that case number. What will I do


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